Learning Disability Super League was launched at Magic Weekend, inspiring the rugby league world as they took centre stage at Anfield.
Super League and the Rugby Football League have partnered with the national social care charity, Community Integrated Care, to create a ground-breaking adapted form of rugby league for people with learning disabilities and autism.
The launch gave almost 160 people the opportunity to play in front of thousands of people at the famous home of Liverpool FC, playing in the half-time slot of the headline fixtures of the Magic Weekend, which was attended by 56,869 people.
The event was supported by Castleford Tigers, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings, Wigan Warriors and York City Knights.
Super League chief executive, Robert Elstone, commented: “I am so proud of the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League.
“The launch was inspirational and represented everything that Super League is about. We should thank those behind the initiative, in particular our partners at Community Integrated Care, our Clubs for supporting their teams, but most of all, our players for their dedication and commitment – anyone who pulls on a Super League jersey is a special human-being.
“The launch was one of the highlights of the 2019 Dacia Magic Weekend. It was incredible to see the passionate support from the Anfield crowd in cheering on the players.
“I’m excited for how this programme and partnership with Community Integrated Care will continue to develop in the years ahead.”
RFL chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, added: “Rugby league is always for everyone.
“This means everyone who wants to play our sport or be involved in it in other ways should be able to do so in the way that’s right for them. The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League is a wonderful partnership.
“The Rugby Football League also looks forward to working with Community Integrated Care on volunteering opportunities, as the sport works together to ensure that all parts of rugby league are inclusive and welcoming.
“Playing at Anfield was a very special achievement for all players. I know that they and their loved ones enjoyed every minute, and they should feel very proud.”