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17 October, 2020

Passionate about their league

As kids we all have our dreams fantasies. We would hit the winning runs in a crucial test match, or intercept a pass and run unchallenged 80 metres to slide over under the post to win the grand final.

By Peter McCullagh

Sport allows us to be free, to be passionate and to feel like we belong to a larger tribe. In recent years many of the barriers around sport have been torn down. Sport has become more accessible for all, irrespective of age, sex or abilities. 

 ARC Disability Services and Cairns Brothers Rugby league have combined resources to offer All Abilities Rugby League to approximately 20 young adults. Gordon Will, a support worker with ARC Disability Services assists with the Friday morning sessions. 

“Any sport should be open to anyone. With the help of Cairns Brothers Leagues Club and Tim we have a great program here every Friday. We see tremendous improvements by those involved. 

Their self-esteem, coordination has all improved. It’s all about having fun and socialising and then feeling they are part of the sport they are passionate about,” said Gordon. 

“These participants, all have a team they support, and so All Abilities Rugby league is a great opportunity for them to play.” Keen North Queensland Cowboys supporter Michael Shearer, loves his Friday session.

“We get outside to play, when it’s not too hot. So we do ball passing, drills and play games.” When asked what the best thing about All Abilities Rugby League, Michael was most concise. 

“I get to have fun with my friends.” Cairns Brothers Football Manager, Tim Rumford coordinates the program locally. Based upon a similarly successful program from the UK, the local program is designed to be open and flexible to the physical side of the sport and up to those very passionate and proud supporters, who would love to play but cannot. 

“We tailor the drills and activities to suit. It’s all about getting active, having fun and feeling like you are participating in the sport you love,” said Tim. 

The truly refreshing aspect of watching their ‘training’ session, was it was all about fun, plenty of laughter and support for each other. 

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