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Groundbreaking sports programme for people with learning difficulties

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SUPER League (Europe) and the Rugby Football League (RFL) have partnered with the national social care charity Community Integrated Care to form a ground-breaking sports programme for people with learning disabilities and autism.
The ‘Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League’ will give people with learning disabilities the opportunity to play an adapted version of Rugby League, in a series of high-profile festivals and events. The programme aims to promote the development of skills, confidence and positive experiences for people with learning disabilities, and make a major statement about social inclusion.  This world-first initiative is the first ever example of a professional sports league sharing its brand with a learning disability sports programme.
The inclusive competition has been supported by 12 founder clubs, including Warrington Wolves, who have established or will be developing Learning Disability Rugby League teams.
Wigan, St Helens, Widnes and Salford are also involved.
Learning Disability Rugby League is a specially adapted non-competitive game, which focuses on encouraging participation and skills development. To support the success of this programme, Community Integrated Care is providing specialist training to all participating clubs, as well as direct investment into the sport.
The programme is set to launch at the Betfred Super League’s Dacia Magic Weekend event, which takes place at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, on May 25-26.
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful social care charities, supporting over 3500 people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia across England and Scotland. The charity has developed several pioneering sports and social care programmes, including initiatives with leading Rugby League clubs that have been recognised at the National Dementia Care Awards, 3rd Sector Care Awards and the Great British Care Awards.
Robert Elstone, chief executive of Super League, said: “I would like to thank Community Integrated Care for presenting this ground-breaking opportunity to Super League. The passion and commitment shown to date to get this project underway bodes well for a partnership that will reward all participants in so many ways. Not only will this deliver amazing opportunities for all the players, and experiences that will live in the memory for lifetimes, it will also endorse everything that Super League stands for.
“Our Clubs sit at the heart of proud communities and bring people together every day of the year. The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League will widen that reach and amplify these special qualities.”

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