Warrington Wolves Learning Disability Super League team in action
Warrington Wolves and Widnes Vikings Learning Disability teams took centre stage at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday (12th July 2019), after having the chance to take to the pitch before and at half-time during the Salford Super League game.
The Community Integrated Care’s Learning Disability Super League players were roared on by the crowd as they played before the Warrington Wolves v Salford Red Devils fixture in the Super Leagues’ dedicated ‘Wellbeing Round’. The Wellbeing Round is part of a mental and physical health campaign and sees Super League work in partnership with charities Movember, State of Mind and Rugby League Cares to highlight the most pressing issues in men’s mental health.
Super League and the Rugby Football League (RFL) partnered with the national social care charity Community Integrated Care in February to create a ground-breaking adapted form of rugby league for people with learning disabilities and autism. Backed by 12 major rugby league clubs and integrated into the Super League calendar, this first ever example of a professional sports league sharing its brand with a learning disability sports programme, which was launched at the iconic Dacia Magic Weekend event in May.
Since the launch, learning disability teams have took part in a series of high-profile events and festivals, giving the players a platform to stay active, make friends, develop skills and achieve their dreams.
Football legend, Tony Adams, attended the event in support of the 'Tackle the Tough Stuff' men's mental health campaign. The Arsenal legend, who played for the club for 22 years, watched the learning disability super league players pitchside, and was impressed with both the Wolves and Vikings teams.
Samantha Brennan, Managing Director (NW) of Community Integrated Care, says, “Yet again the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League has made dreams come true for so many people and has showed a true display of social inclusion.
We’re extremely proud of the ground-breaking work that this initiative is achieving and would like to once again thank Super League, the RFL, and the founding clubs in working so hard to make these opportunities happen.”
Craig Thomason, Disability Development Manager at Warrington Wolves, says, “I’m extremely proud of both teams who worked so hard this evening and played exceptionally well, it really was a game to remember.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the crowd for showing their support this evening, to be cheered on like Super League players is an absolute dream come true for both teams – I’m sure this will be a night which many of the players won’t ever forget.”
Liam Clark, Head of Community at Widnes Vikings, commented: “The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League is a brilliant concept which everyone at Widnes Vikings is extremely proud to be a part of. To have our squad given the opportunity to become Super League players on a stage is an incredible experience.
Our Community Team, led by our Learning Disability Head Coach, Lydia Cash, have done a great job in getting the programme off the ground and to where it is now. It means so much to everyone involved, and we’re excited to make more dreams come true as this ground-breaking year continues.”