Proving to be the greatest game of all, rugby league continues to connect people no matter what age, sex or ability.
Recognising the United Nations' International Day of People with Disability on 3 December, NSWRL continues in its ongoing support providing a variety of programs and competitions for those suffering physical or intellectual disabilities.
“The development of the competitions conducted by NSW Wheelchair Rugby League, NSW Push ‘n’ Power Rugby League and NSW Physical Disabilities Rugby League has allowed many people to participate in the game of Rugby League who would otherwise not have had the chance,” NSWRL's Community Football Coordinator, Martin Shanahan, said.
“NSW Rugby 'League 4 All' also provides participation opportunities for those with an intellectual disability."
As a United Nations-sanctioned day, the International Day of People with Disability celebrates the progress and achievements of people with disability, realising an inclusive society for all.
“As well as the sports participation experience – which is well recognised for assisting to develop social skills, resilience and self-esteem in participants – many participants with a disability also become involved in the administration of the competitions."
Rugby league is a sport that creates bonds like no other, and the NSWRL ensures the opportunity to participate and share life-long memories with friends and family.
“Rules which allow all people to take part, facilitate players in wheelchairs competing side-by-side with their able-bodied family members and fathers with physical disabilities have played alongside their children, providing valuable bonding experiences which are often hard to find,” Shanahan said.
It’s harder to find a bond more tight than that of father and son Craig and Cory Cannane who share their passion of playing wheelchair rugby league together. “There’s nothing better than playing alongside my son and it shines through both of us,” Craig said.
“We’ve been very close, my son and I. We played wheelchair basketball together and then I bought him over to wheelchair rugby league and we are really enjoying it.”
As much as the game of rugby league has given to people with disability, it’s everyone who participates and plays that makes it the greatest game of all.
To lend your voice to International Day of People with a Disability, Tweet your support on Twitter using the hashtag #IDPWD. Include the NSWRL Twitter handle @NSWRL and we will share the best Tweets, videos and photos.