Hull FC have launched their Physical Disability Rugby League team, becoming one of the Betfred Super League’s most inclusive clubs.
With already existing Academy, Reserves, Scholarship, College, Wheelchair, Women’s, Girl’s and LDRL teams, the addition of a PDRL team makes the Black & Whites one of Rugby League’s most inclusive teams, with the opportunity to represent the club at numerous disciplines.
The launch of the PRDL team comes off the back of a successful couple of years for the LDRL team, which was established only two years ago.
The LDRL team has gone from strength to strength, with participation numbers constantly on the rise, and the team getting the opportunity to play on stages like St James’ Park and Headingley Stadium.
But with a drive to grow further, Hull FC have now launched a PDRL team, something which Hull FC Community Foundation Inclusion Manager Mike Swainger is pleased with.
“We’re delighted to have established a PDRL team, meaning that we now cover every discipline of the game,” Swainger said.
“That is a huge stride forward for both Hull FC and the Hull FC Community Foundation, as it means we are now completely inclusive.
“Beyond the first team, we have an Academy, a Reserves team, a Women’s team, a Girl’s team, a Wheelchair team, a College team, an LDRL team and now a PDRL team, so there are more opportunities to represent Hull FC than ever before.
“Of course, the PDRL team is very much in its infancy at this stage, but we are hoping that it will grow over time.
“I think the Community Foundation has done some excellent things in terms of making Rugby League more inclusive and accessible for those who want to play the sport over the last few years,” he said.
“We have been working on growing the projects that are already in place, such as the Wheelchair team and the LDRL team, which have both enjoyed great success recently, as we strive to branch further out and make Rugby League as inclusive as we possibly can.”
The PDRL team trains at the Bonus Youth Performance Centre on Thursday evenings (6-7pm), with new players invited to come down and join in.
Swainger explained: “PDRL is slightly different to something like Wheelchair Rugby League, because there is certain criteria that needs to be met for each participant. You have to have a physical disability to take part,” he explained.
“There is a chance for those that don’t have a physical disability to take part, because each team can have two facilitators on the pitch. But there are certain safety measures in place for facilitators, such as they can only take the ball in 10 yards and they can’t score – they must pass.
“But we’re excited to be starting our PDRL journey and offering another opportunity for more people to represent the Black & Whites.”
For more information on how to get involved with the PDRL team, or if you have a specific query, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.