Super League and the RFL have been commended for their ground-breaking approach to promoting social inclusion through sport.
The partners collected the prestigious ‘Outstanding Charity Support’ accolade at the North West Charity Awards after being nominated by Community Integrated Care, one of Britain’s biggest and most successful social care charities.
The charity made the nomination both in recognition of their partners’ backing of both the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League and its own Rugby League-based inclusion programmes.
Community Integrated Care supports more than 3,500 people across the UK, who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia.
In February 2019, the charity was announced as the Official Social Care Partner of RFL and Super League, with a vision of pioneering the development of programmes to promote the inclusion of people with care and support needs through rugby league.
Individual clubs throughout the game have been at the forefront of developing the learning disability version of rugby league as the game seeks to make itself as accessible to as many people as possible.
At the heart of developments has been the Learning Disability Super League, a world-first programme that has given almost 200 people who have learning disabilities and autism the chance to fulfil their sporting dreams.
Since its launch at the 2019 Dacia Magic Weekend at Anfield Stadium, the programme has captivated supporters and been featured at a number of high-profile Super League events and inclusive festivals, developed by the RFL.
Super League CEO Robert Elstone said: “The learning disability game is a valuable and important part of the rugby league family, and the award belongs as much to our friends at Community Integrated Care and those people playing the game as it does to ourselves.
“The festival at Magic Weekend was a personal highlight of the 2019 Super League season and it is impossible not to be inspired by the work that is going on.”
RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “We’re proud as a sport of how deeply embedded our clubs are in their communities, delighted to have been nominated by our partners at CIC and thrilled to be recognised for our approach in ensuring that rugby league is accessible to all.”