Media Releases

Wheelchair Rugby League “Festival of Football” to showcase talent and tenacity this November

Wheelchair Rugby League Australia will be holding the inaugural 2018 Festival of Football on Sunday 25th November at Auburn PCYC. The event, which is being supported by International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), will showcase the amazing talent of our male and female athletes of all ages.

Entry on the day is free and the event will showcase our exciting sport, feature several rounds of Wheelchair Rugby League games and culminate in the finals and medal presentation. It will be attended by our athletes, sports fans and representatives from business and government.

New Wheelchair Rugby League Ambassadors, James Tamou and Brett Kimmorley will also be on hand to support the players, participate in activities and raise awareness of this inclusive sport.

In speaking about the event, Wheelchair Rugby League Director Joseph Chidiac said, “The inaugural 2018 Festival of Football will shine a light on the skill and diversity of our athletes and at the same time raise awareness of the benefits of a sport that is truly inclusive. It is a sport where the emphasis
is on participation, health and the well-being of the people who participate and that is why we are thrilled to hold the event in conjunction with IDPwD, which is held on 3 December.”

IDPwD is about increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrating their achievements and contributions — all elements that the Festival of Footall embodies.

Members of the public are invited to register to attend via this link:

The Festival of Football will be held between 11.30 am and 5.30 pm. A schools event will also be held Monday 26th November at the same venue.

Media Contact: Joanne Ryan, Infodec Communications, Phone: 0421 059 866

Images attached: NRL Wheelchair Ambassadors Brett Kimmorley and James Tamou conducting drills with Wheelchair Rugby League players and our Ambassadors with players, Menai Indoor Sports Centre.

About Wheelchair Rugby League

Players of any age and ability can participate in this wheelchair-based version of rugby league. It is an enthralling game of speed and skill.

How is Wheelchair Rugby League played?

This fast-paced game is played on an indoor court, about half the size of rugby league field. It follows a five-on-five format, using a rugby league football. A kick is achieved by a clenched fist and a tackle is achieved by removing a Velcro tag from the sleeve of an attacking player. The game allows up to 2 able bodied athletes per team, meaning that members of families and mates can play
alongside their siblings and friends.

Wheelchair Rugby League is an inclusive sport – a variation of the running game allowing athletes with disabilities to compete with and against able-bodied people. The emphasis is on the participation, health and well-being of individuals, personal performance, social interaction and self-esteem.

Wheelchair Rugby League aspires to provide an inclusive recreational activity and to promote fun, fitness and self-development while fostering good sportsmanship in a safe and positive environment.

New South Wales Wheelchair Rugby League currently runs seasonal competitions in Sydney and Western Sydney with plans to grow the sport across Australia.

See more here.

About International Day of People with Disability

IDPwD is a United Nations sanctioned day that is celebrated internationally. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

The Australian Government has been supporting IDPwD since 1996 and provides funds to promote and raise awareness of the day around Australia.

Each year the UN announces a theme to observe for International Day of People with Disability. The annual theme provides an overarching focus on how society can strive for inclusivity through the removal of physical, technological and attitudinal barriers for people with disability. This has
been occurring since 1992 when the General Assembly proclaimed 3 December as the International Day of Disabled Persons. The theme for International Day of People with Disability for 2018 is ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’.

In Australia, the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 commits all governments to a nationwide approach aimed at improving the lives of people with disability, their families and carers. The strategy’s ten-year national framework for reform focuses on better inclusion for people with disability and seeks to create a society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens. Today, countries all around the world celebrate the day.


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