York RLFC's Wheelchair team were delighted to this week welcome three England internationals as guests of honour to our final training session of 2023.
The Wheelchair side were joined by England stars Wayne Boardman, Tom Martin and Ewan Clibbens at the University of York’s York Sport Centre, with the trio offering some expert coaching and guidance to the York players, who are in their inaugural season.
Wheelchair rugby league has gone from strength to strength in York since the success of last year's 2021 Rugby League World Cup, which saw England win the Wheelchair edition.
The 2023 season has seen York RLFC's Wheelchair side featured in its maiden Challenge Cup Trophy competition and host its own Festival at the LNER Community Stadium as part of Inclusion Day, with participation numbers continually increasing.
The York RLFC Foundation also delivered a school assembly programme which allowed children to interview World Cup-winning Head Coach Tom Coyd.
As well as hosting Boardman, Martin and Clibbens this week, our partnership with England has also seen York host a training session for the World Champions.
Wheelchair Rugby League is the most inclusive and accessible variant of rugby league for all abilities.
It is the only rugby league offer that is wholly inclusive and teams feature wheelchair athletes and non-disabled players.
Clubs across the UK have been set up to improve the physical well-being of players to enjoy this sport, offering an opportunity for individuals who are either unable or no desire to participate in the running game.
York RLFC Foundation Delivery Manager Adam Prentis said: "We had 22 participants at our last Wheelchair training session, including two new players attending for the first time.
"Given that Wheelchair Rugby League is a five-a-side version of the sport, to see those kind of numbers attending our training sessions speaks volumes about how far we have come in a relatively short space of time.
"The work of a number of volunteers behind the scenes has helped make the side so successful.
"That and the support of a number of partners, including the CreatedBy funding to provide funding for the initial outlay of chairs, and the University of York, who have been very supportive in these early stages has been hugely appreciated.
"To have England stars come support us, not just at this week’s training session but throughout the year, really assists our development and is a great insight to share good practice from the best.
"My thanks go to Wayne, Tom and Ewan for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us."
For more information of how to get involved with Wheelchair Rugby League in York, please email email@example.com or call 01904 670880 and ask for the Foundation team.