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Canberra
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

Rugby league for all

A new program is providing the opportunity for people with disability to replicate what their rugby league heroes do and play the game they love.

Established by The Disability Trust, Score Raiders is a new program in the ACT. It emulates a similar model running in the Illawarra called the Score Dragons, which is run in partnership with the St George Illawarra Dragons and won the NRL Community Award in 2015.

Michael Norris, manager of Sport and Recreation Services for The Disability Trust, said the program enables participants to access and learn the skills associated with rugby league.

He said people with disability “are huge fans of the game” and the program provides an opportunity to show “people with disability can participate in sport and do so quite successfully”.

Long-term, Mr Norris said they hope to emulate the Illawarra program where participants will be a part of the local junior competition and play weekly games against mainstream teams.

In addition to improving health and wellbeing, he said the program provides participants the opportunity to be “an active part of the community, take pride in what they are doing and make new friends and social connections”.

Locally, the first training session was held on Monday 29 April with about 10 participants registered. Mr Norris said the initiative is supported by Canberra Region Rugby League and the Canberra Raiders.

With the Score Dragons, and plans to facilitate links with the Wests Tigers for a program in Campbelltown, he said there could be scope in the future for teams to travel interstate to play each other.

In addition to Score Raiders, The Disability Trust has launched a range of programs in the region including dance, drama, tennis and indoor sports.

Score Raiders is being run out of the Sports Australia synthetic outdoor field at the AIS. Training is on Mondays 4-5.30pm. For more information about the program, contact Eilish Winbank on 6232 9440 or email [email protected]

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