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Once-in-a-lifetime visits from RLWC2021 stars

As the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) kicks off in stadiums around the country, over 350 people who access care and support and colleagues are participating in numerous life-changing experiences through Community Integrated Care’s ground-breaking, Inclusive Volunteering Programme.

Players from RLWC Italy men's team visit Inclusive Volunteers at Newton Community GardenYesterday, groups in the North West and Yorkshire were surprised with special guest visits from Rugby League stars of the Tournament!

First up, a team of Inclusive Volunteers at the RLWC2021-themed accessible garden at Newton Community Hospital were delighted to say ‘Benvenuto’ to the Italy’s Men’s team!

Catching up on all things RLWC2021, proud volunteers showed the players their gardening efforts from the past year. The players were impressed with the colourful planters and flowers, inspired by nations competing at the tournament.

This was an incredible experience for the volunteers, who meet weekly to tend to the garden through our charity’s inclusive volunteering gardening project, gaining new skills, friendships and confidence.

Players from RLWC Greece men's team visit people supprted in Sheffield at Heeley Green church

Meanwhile, over in Sheffield, colleagues and people supported at Heeley Green and Brindley received a special visit from the Greece Men’s Team, at Heeley Parish Church.

Players enjoyed a home-cooked feast alongside people we support, and took part in an accessible Rugby passing game. It is hoped that through these interactions, we can inspire people who have never tried the sport of Learning Disability Rugby League to get involved with our charity’s sports opportunities.

Ben Berry, Sports Inclusion Specialist at Community Integrated Care, said, “It was amazing to see the people we support in Sheffield meet the Greece team – and we want to thank Greece players and the RLWC2021 for making this community visit possible. It has really inspired the group to get involved in volunteering at the tournament! We’ve already had interest from people supported to join the Sheffield Eagles Learning Disability Super League team in the future. I’m sure Greece Rugby League have gained a few more fans in Sheffield!”

The visit even made the 6.30pm news and was featured on BBC Look North:


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