Learning Disability Super League shortlisted for global honour
The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League has been named as one of the five best community programmes in world sport at the prestigious 2019 Leaders Sport Awards.
Super League, The RFL and Community Integrated Care have collectively been shortlisted for the Community Award, which is supported by Facebook, for the impact and innovation demonstrated in the first season of this ground-breaking project. The 2019 Leaders Sports Awards will take place at the Natural History Museum, London, on Wednesday 9th October.
Leaders Sport Awards celebrates ‘companies and individuals who are shaping the future of sport’. The awards are judged by a panel of 100 leading experts from the likes of governing bodies, major sports clubs and international brands. The Community Award has been selected by a panel of judges from Leaders and Facebook following a global search to identify sports-based programmes that deliver a profound social impact and have a sustainable vision for the future.
Also featured in the Community Awards category are Special Olympic World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, NFL giants the San Francisco 49ers, Arsenal FC with Save the Children, and Common Goal.
Super League and the Rugby Football League partnered with the national social care charity Community Integrated Care in February to create a ground-breaking accessible Rugby League programme for people with learning disabilities and autism. This is the first ever example of a professional sports league sharing its brand with a learning disabilities sports programme.
Backed by 12 major Rugby League clubs and integrated into the Super League calendar, the project was launched at the iconic Dacia Magic Weekend event back in May. Since the launch, learning disability teams have taken part in a series of high-profile events and festivals, giving the players an unprecedented platform to stay active, make friends, develop skills and achieve their dreams.
Mark Adams, Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care, says: “This programme has had a phenomenal impact in its inaugural season. It has offered the players unforgettable experiences, and helped to develop new friendships, greater confidence and life skills. As a charity that is absolutely committed to changing the lives of people with support needs and creating opportunities, we couldn’t be prouder.
We would like to thank our partners at Super League and RFL for their vision and support in backing this project. We hope that the players, family members, coaches and volunteers, who have been instrumental to its success, also feel proud of this nomination.”
Super League CEO, Robert Elstone, says: “This is brilliant news. I was invited to the House of Commons not long ago to talk about the work being done by our clubs and by Community Integrated Care in developing the Learning Disability Super League, so it’s great to see everyone involved getting the wider recognition they so richly deserve.
“LDSL is such a valuable and important part of the rugby league family. The festival at Magic Weekend was a personal highlight from the 2019 Super League season.
“When you’re at events like that you can see what it means to the players and the fans, and it is impossible not to be inspired by the work that is going on.”
Ralph Rimmer, Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said: “We’re proud as a sport of how deeply embedded our clubs are in their communities, and we are determined to recognise our responsibilities in terms of inclusion, and ensuring the game is accessible to all. Our team is working closely with partners to build solid infrastructure supporting the Learning Disability game leading up to events around the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021). To be nominated for this award brings both those strands together – and is worthy recognition for some outstanding work over the last 12 months.”