The stars of Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Learning Disability Super League (LDSL) team were recognised for their incredible efforts during the past 12 months when they came together for their 2021 Presentation Evening at Headingley Stadium last week.
With the return of LDSL Festivals in 2021 following the enforced break during lockdown, the players were able to get back onto the field and build on the huge progress they made during their first year together as a team in 2019, whilst enjoying plenty more unforgettable moments and unique experiences.
Playing against other Super League Foundation’s and their LDSL teams, the Rhinos players were able to showcase some of the skills that they had developed through the RLWC2021 Skills Journal which had kept them busy and engaged with their rugby throughout the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Players competed in four festivals situated across Yorkshire, including a record-breaking event in York as this inclusive form of the sport continues to go from strength to strength.
On a special night for all involved with the Rhinos LDSL side, Team Manager Ben Berry explained how pleasing it has been to see his team return to action and to have the chance to host such a special night of celebration for the players.
“It’s been great to finally be able to get the whole LDSL team together at the stadium for a social event and to celebrate their achievements throughout the past 12 months, because unfortunately last year we weren’t in a position to do just that.
“They’ve all been excellent and have achieved personal growth both on and off the field, with lots of incredible opportunities coming up in 2022 at the Rugby League World Cup which sadly had to be postponed earlier this year. The inclusive Volunteering Programme with Community Integrated Care which they’ve worked on this year has given them even more opportunities to enjoy life-changing experiences, give back and fulfil their potential in many different fields, so that has been extremely beneficial.
“The passion they have for the game is unmatched and it means so much for them to represent the Rhinos, because when they pull on those Blue and Amber shirts they become real Super League players playing for the club that most of them have supported their entire lives.
“We’ve had a great year as a team and now that we’ve wrapped it up with this fantastic presentation evening we can’t wait for next year to get underway to do it all over again!”
Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL) is a variant of the game developed to ensure people with a learning disability can access and enjoy playing the game of Rugby League.
The emphasis in LDRL is on enjoyment and matches are played in a non-competitive and completely inclusive basis. The various activities are delivered with a view to developing the participants skills and confidence while providing new challenges and opportunities.
Check out our gallery from the presentation evening below, courtesy of LDSL player Michael Duffy:
We are now welcoming new players to register their interest in joining our Leeds Rhinos LDSL team in 2022, with the side’s training sessions set to resume in February at Leeds Rugby Academy in Kirkstall.
If you know someone who would like to play LDSL with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get involved.
RHINOS FESTIVE 5K
Don’t forget you can join the players from our Leeds Rhinos LDSL team at the first ever Rhinos Festive 5k event this Sunday 12th December!
This unique fundraiser at Headingley Stadium is bringing together the entire Rhinos family, with fans joining the players and staff from the Men’s and Women’s, Netball, LDSL, PDRL and Wheelchair teams in walking five 1km laps around the ground. All funds raised will support the work of Leeds Rhinos Foundation in the city, plus a donation from the day will also be made to the appeal to build the Rob Burrow MND Care Centre in Leeds.
Plus, there is a FREE family day with plenty of Christmas entertainment for the whole family, food & drink and the under 10s rugby festival on the pitch!
To sign up for the Festive 5k, please CLICK HERE.