Learning Disability Super League Launches At Dacia Magic Weekend

The ground-breaking Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League is set to launch at the Dacia Magic Weekend, at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool (25th and 26th May).

Super League and the Rugby Football League have partnered with the national social care charity Community Integrated Care to create a pioneering inclusive sports programme for people with learning disabilities and autism. Gaining significant national attention since its announcement in February, and engaging hundreds of people in the sport, this world-first programme is a growing success.

Supporters attending the Dacia Magic Weekend will have the opportunity to watch the inspiring action first-hand on both days of the event. With a special festival taking place on Stanley Park during the second game of each day, and the teams playing on the famous Anfield turf during the halftime break of the final games, the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League players will be at the heart of the action.

Timings and Teams:

Saturday 25th May:

Teams: Wakefield Trinity, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, York City Knights, Widnes Vikings

Stanley Park Festival: 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Half-Time Game: 7.40pm (Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves Betfred Super League fixture)

Sunday 26th May:

Teams: Salford Red Devils, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Castleford Tigers.

Stanley Park Festival: 3.30 to 5.30pm

Half-Time Game: 6.40pm (St Helens vs Castleford Tigers Betfred Super League fixture)

Community Integrated Care will also be fundraising at the event, to further develop its Rugby League inclusion programmes, and showcasing its opportunities for work, volunteering and support in social care at the event Fanzone.

The Concept

The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League gives people with learning disabilities and autism the opportunity to play an adapted version of Rugby League, The programme aims to promote the development of skills, confidence and positive experiences, and make a major statement about social inclusion. This world-first initiative is the first ever example of a professional sports league sharing its brand with a learning disability sports programme.

The inclusive competition has been supported by 12 founder clubs, who have established or will be developing Learning Disability Rugby League teams: Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Newcastle Thunder, Salford Red Devils, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings, Wigan Warriors and York City Knights.

Learning Disability Rugby League is a specially adapted non-competitive game, which focuses on encouraging participation and skills development. To support the success of this programme, Community Integrated Care is providing specialist training to all participating clubs, as well as direct investment into the sport.

The Dacia Magic Weekend launch event will provide one of the biggest ever crowds for a learning disability sport event. Further fixtures are set to be announced this year, including festivals hosted by Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity.

The Partnership

Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful social care charities, supporting over 3500 people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia across England and Scotland. The charity has developed several pioneering sports and social care programmes with Rugby League clubs that have been recognised at the National Dementia Care Awards, 3rd Sector Care Awards and the Great British Care Awards.

As the Official Social Care Partner of Super League and the RFL, the charity is leading the development of a range of programmes that will use Rugby League to transform the lives of people who require care and support.

Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, says: “It has been inspirational to witness the support given to this project by the clubs that are participating in the programme, Super League and the RFL. With hundreds of people now having the opportunity to discover and play Rugby League, and participants gaining skills, friendship and confidence, this initiative is changing lives. Truly, Rugby League is leading the way for innovation and inclusion by supporting this programme.

The launch at Dacia Magic Weekend will be a proud moment for everyone associated with Community Integrated Care and the sport of Rugby League.”

Robert Elstone, CEO of Super League, says: “I am so proud of the Learning Disability Super League initiative. It’s inspirational and uplifting, and is everything Super League should be about. We should thank those behind the initiative, in particular our partners at Community Integrated Care, our Clubs for supporting their teams, but most of all, our players for their dedication and commitment – anyone who pulls on a Super League jersey is a special human being.

I am delighted we’re unveiling the Learning Disability Super League at Dacia Magic Weekend and would urge all fans to take time to watch it in action. Like me, like everyone who’s seen it so far, you’ll love it.”

Ralph Rimmer, CEO of Rugby Football League says “Rugby league is always for everyone. This means everyone who wants to play our sport or be involved in it in other ways should be able to do so in the way that’s right for them. The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League is a wonderful partnership. The Rugby Football League also looks forward to working with Community Integrated Care on volunteering opportunities as the sport works together to ensure that all parts of rugby league are inclusive and welcoming.

Playing at Anfield is very special and I know all the players and their families will enjoy every minute.”

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