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Trustees Enjoy The Action At Magic Weekend

​On Saturday 9th July, Trustees of our charity, both current and former, came together at Rugby League’s Magic Weekend to learn more about our partnership with the Rugby Football League and Super League, as we extend our collaboration for five more years.

Taking place in Newcastle, many of our Trustees travelled with friends and family to the iconic St James’ Park for an action-packed day.

Greeted upon arrival by delicious homemade cakes, baked by some of our Inclusive Volunteers, Trustees were able to interact with our colleagues and the people we support to find out what it meant for them to be at Magic Weekend.

The day took shape with an inspiring introduction from Trustee Member, Nigel Lemmon, and our Director of Partnerships and Communities, John Hughes, who showcased the fantastic achievements of our Learning Disability Super League (LDSL) and Inclusive Volunteering programme. This gave our Trustees an insight into the integral part we play in continuously striving to make sports more accessible for everyone.

Magic Weekend Trustee Event PanelDuring the afternoon, guests were introduced to an incredible panel discussion, hosted live by BBC Sports Reporter, Ross Fiddes.

Ross took on the role of Presenter welcoming our four main stars: –

  • Inclusive Volunteer, Matt Price
  • Partnerships and Communities Manager, Craig Thomason
  • Sports Inclusion Coordinator, Oliver Thomason
  • Rugby League World Cup 2021 Ambassador and Captain of St Helens Women’s team, Jodie Cunningham

Ross chatted to Oliver and Matt about the true meaning of being an LDSL Superstar, who both took to the pitch to play their beloved sport on Sunday 10th July. Matt, who is also a part of our Inclusive Volunteering Programme, shared that being part of our initiatives has helped him become a more confident and independent person – both on the pitch and off!

England Rugby Player, Jodie, was pleased to celebrate with us on the day and show her support for our LDSL players, sharing her advice to Matt and Oliver to have fun and enjoy every minute as they prepared for their debut the following day.

This all culminated into the final highly anticipated event: the return of our Learning Disability Super League! Bigger and better than ever before, LDSL players took to the field during half-time of the second big game of the day – showing off their skills to a crowd of thousands.

Our Trustees watched in awe as fans across the stadium cheered on our incredible players, as they enjoyed a ten-minute game of non-contact rugby.

Nigel Lemmon, a member of our Board of Trustees, said: “Our ongoing partnership with Rugby League has changed countless lives both within our charity and the communities we work in, so seeing this brought to life was an incredibly special experience for me and my fellow Trustees. Hearing directly from the people who live and breathe it every day was extremely powerful.

“The Learning Disability Super League match was a fantastic spectacle and the pinnacle of what this work means to our people and our charity. This project has already torn down so many barriers for people with support needs and helped them do the things they love the most. I’m really excited to see what comes next.”


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