Disability guidance

Ben Noble

Introduction to the Guidance

Everyone has the right to choose Rugby League as their sport. Disabled and non-disabled children and adults should be given equal access to get involved at every level. To be able to make this choice, disabled participants need to be provided with opportunities, information, positive encouragement and action and a broad range of activities and roles from which to choose.

The contribution of sporting activities to the health and well-being of disabled people can be significant, equally Rugby League will benefit from ensuring that disabled people are included and welcomed into our sport. Sport can develop physical fitness, balance, motor skills, body image, self-esteem and confidence at the same time as promoting integration with family and friends.

The information is provided as guidance only and has been compiled and endorsed by a range of organisations with a great deal of specialist knowledge. This will allow coaches and clubs to be more inclusive by ensuring that disabled children and adults are given the opportunity to play, coach, work and volunteer or spectate within our sport.

The most important factors to ensuring that disabled people, whatever their ability or impairment can get involved in Rugby League are:

  • Willingness and enthusiasm to work together to meet individual needs
  • Recognition that no two people are the same and experience disabling barriers to participation in the same way
  • Confidence to try something new and learn by experience
  • Focus on and understand an individual’s ability, choice and goals, and not making assumptions

Although many of the more general recommendations relating to good practice could apply to all disabled people, the individual needs of disabled people may vary significantly dependant on whether the barriers that affect them are physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological or attitudinal.

As such ‘impairment’ specific information is of value to the clubs and this guidance is therefore divided into specific groups of disabled people, beginning with blind and partially sighted people, deaf and hard of hearing, mobility needs, learning disabled people, mental health, behavioural and long term and chronic illness.