Community Integrated Care Welcomes Inclusive Sport Partnership ‘Expert By Experience’, Oliver Thomason

Community Integrated Care is proud to have developed innovative and inclusive sporting partnerships throughout the UK. Using sport to promote health, happiness and wellbeing, the programmes change lives, as well as adding huge value to the wider community.

After first teaming up with Middlesbrough FC over a decade ago, Community Integrated Care has since gone on to develop a network of leading collaborations with world renowned sporting institutions such as The Super League, Rugby Football League, Table Tennis England and other major football clubs. We’re continually looking at ways we can make our activities as inclusive as possible.

That’s why we’re delighted to welcome the newest member of our Partnerships & Communities Team, Oliver Thomason. Taking on the role of Sport Inclusion Assistant, Oliver, will play a pivotal role in how we plan, deliver and support people to enjoy accessible sports inclusion initiatives across England and Scotland. Sharing his lived-experience of having a learning disability, his work will be vital to the growth and success of our sporting initiatives.

No stranger to our charity, Oliver, who previously worked for Warrington Wolves Foundation, supported us to launch the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League in 2019, showcasing the sport in front of 60,000 people at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium. This success led to our charity being named the Official Social Care partner for the Rugby League World Cup 2021, with Oliver becoming an Ambassador for the tournament.

As an Ambassador for the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Oliver has the same status and important role as legends of the game, like Jason Robinson OBE, current stars, such as Luke Gale (Leeds Rhinos) and Jodie Cunningham (St Helens), and celebrities, such as TV host Adam Hills, in promoting the global event.  

For the first time ever, supported by the Sports England Major Events Fund, the Rugby League World Cup will include a ground-breaking inclusive volunteer programme. Led by our charity, this will create a range of accessible opportunities for people who have care and support needs. As part of his role, Oliver will also play a crucial part in developing the world-first programme.

Community Integrated Care is also delighted to welcome Andy Brady to the team, who will be supporting Oliver to deliver his important work.  

Speaking about his new role, Oliver says: “I’m really happy and proud to be joining Community Integrated Care. I think the charity does so many good things and I’m grateful for all the opportunities they’ve given me with the Learning Disability Super League.

“For me it’s always about looking past disability and giving people the support to achieve their dreams. I’ve got experiences to share and I’m looking forward to making a difference.”

Speaking about the Rugby League World Cup, Oliver said: “I can’t wait to represent the charity at this year’s tournament and give so many people who are passionate about sport the chance to take part. It’s such an exciting opportunity and we’re going to make sure that it’s truly inclusive to all.”

John Hughes, Director of Partnerships & Communities, says: “Oliver has achieved fantastic things and has wonderful abilities to mentor, enthuse and support people. He will be bringing his experience and personal skills to our charity, to help ensure that our sports development work is person-centred, ambitious and inclusive.

"We are thrilled to have someone who is as creative, compassionate and dedicated as him join our team. By championing sports and inclusion nationally and internationally, he will be making a real difference to the lives of many people.”

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