York RLFC Foundation’s Disability Team held their final session of 2022 on Wednesday evening, wrapping up what has been a superb year for the team and players.
Several new players joined the squad throughout 2022, all enjoying the pride in pulling on the York shirt! The team competed throughout the year in the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League, a competition that has seen York play in major national festivals in iconic stadiums including Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium and Newcastle United’s St James’ Park at Magic Weekend.
The team also hosted fixtures of our own at the LNER Community Stadium, both pre-match and half time, which also saw the team take part in other pre-match opportunities such as flag bearing and forming the guard of honour.
2023 has also seen some of our players, with support of the Foundation, earn coaching qualifications with many participating in a Street Rugby Activator Course. Phil Kelly, along with his brother Chris – who coaches the team alongside Foundation staff – also gained their Level One Rugby League coaching certificate.
Our other off-field activites have seen members take part in a Sporting Futures employability project in partnership with Disability Sport Yorkshire. The participants had the opportunity to volunteer on matchdays, participants who have now joined our volunteer team. We have also continued our work with our links with local specialist schools to grow the game including in-house festivals.
Sadly, one of our players Michael May passed away in July. He was a huge part of our team and loved playing and representing York. Our Disability Player of the Year Award has been named in his honour and our congratulations go to Charlie Dickinson who became the first-ever winner of the Michael May Award.
While our training sessions for the year have finished, our players have one more fixture left when we host our own RLWC Festival at the LNER Community Stadium on Sunday 6th November prior to the New Zealand vs Cook Islands and Australia vs France double-header in the Women’s competition.
Everyone from the Disability team and Foundation would like to thank all our supporters and partners for their backing of the team this year.