Rugby League’s ‘Grand Day Out’ returns to Blackpool this Saturday– and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever, with Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Wheelchair, Physical Disability and Learning Disability Rugby League teams all in action!
The Grand Day Out will use every inch of Stanley Park to showcase the sport’s breath-taking inclusivity and ingenuity through an extraordinary array of versions of the game – from Touch and Tag to Wheelchair Rugby League.
Hundreds of players of all ages and abilities will descend on Stanley Park from 10am, which is free to attend for all spectators.
Ben Berry, Disability Co-ordinator for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for all our teams to compete alongside each other. Both teams will travel together, support each other throughout the festival and hopefully form new friendships. We also have a special surprise in store with regards to our travel arrangements, which makes the day even more exciting for them.
“It’s paramount that these ‘new’ forms of the sport are promoted to the wider rugby league community and beyond. It illustrates to everyone that rugby league is a truly inclusive sport, accessible and open to all.
“I would encourage anyone to get down to Stanley Park on Saturday and experience the array of different formats of the game, full of inspirational teams and players.”
The action gets underway with the final round of the 2019 Touch Nationals, featuring clubs from Warrington and Catterick. A national Masters festival, including an anticipated 350 players, is also scheduled for a morning start alongside EuroTag, a semi-contact version of rugby league similar to Touch and Masters.
Meanwhile the indoor arena is the venue for Wheelchair Super League action and the new ‘Wheelchair 4s’ festival, featuring the double-winning Leeds Rhinos team, while spectators can also watch an England Wheelchair squad training session from 3pm.
Also in action throughout the day will be teams from the burgeoning Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League, which gives people with learning disabilities the opportunity to play an adapted version of Rugby League.
And Australian comedian Adam Hills will bring his Warrington Wolves team to Blackpool to showcase Physical Disability Rugby League in the final League Festival of the season alongside the Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity.
RFL Director of Participation & Development, Marc Lovering, said: “Rugby League is for everyone and nothing demonstrates this more than the Grand Day Out. It really does showcase all that’s best about our sport – and it does so in the fabulous setting of Blackpool’s Stanley Park. It really is a fantastic day out for all the family – and it’s completely free of charge.
“I’d like to thank Blackpool Council for their support, and all the teams, players and volunteers whose passion and dedication make this such a unique and wonderful event. Wherever you live, however you get there, make a date for Stanley Park on Saturday 7 September. See you at the Fan Zone!”
The full programme for the day is as follows:
10am – Touch Nationals
11am – Wheelchair Super League
11am – EuroTag
11am – Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League
11.30am – RL Masters
1pm – Wheelchair 4s Festival
1pm – Physical Disability Rugby League Festival
3pm – England Wheelchair Squad training
Events are expected to finish by 5pm. For more information, visit www.rugby-league.co.uk.