Why I Love Disability RL | Adam Fleming (PDRL)
In a new written series, we want to delve deeper into why our participants love Disability Rugby League. Over the past few years, our sides have gone from strength to strength, playing a curtain-raiser at both Old Trafford and Anfield, while we watched three of our PD participants embark on a trip of a lifetime to Australia, shown exclusively on Amazon Prime.
Please see our next Q&A with PDRL player Adam Fleming…
How would you explain your love for PDRL?
It is great to play with and against players who got told they would never play the sport they loved ever again, due to injuries, loss of limbs etc. To see the passion and determination from them is outstanding.
How did you get in PDRL? – What is your journey?
My mum saw it advertised on Facebook and mentioned it to me. I got in touch with Craig Shepherd to see if I was eligible to play, however, I did not get carried away as I didn’t think I would be able to get involved, mainly due to the fact I only have mild cerebral palsy and epilepsy. But when Craig came back to me and said I was fine, I started a whole new chapter in my life.
How has the sport impacted your life, personally?
Rugby League has always been a big part of my life, from going to watch Wakefield Trinity on the Belle Vue terraces to playing for Eastmoor Dragons at the young age of five years old.
Are there any memories or times you look back with fondness or pride? (Grand Finals, Old Trafford, Australia etc.)
There are great memories created in every PDRL game as it is a fantastic team sport. The game itself has created some unbelievable times in my life, playing at multiple Grand Finals with a great Wakefield team as well as stepping out on the hallowed turf of the Theatre of Dreams. The atmosphere from that game was on a different level.
Something else which has stuck with me would be when it got announced that Paul Gallen would be putting on the Red, White & Blue to join us at a game, which was amazing.
Earlier this year, I was also selected to England in the World Cup, which, unfortunately, didn’t go ahead. However, I was placed in the Yorkshire side which faced Lancashire in the State of Origin contest, which we won due to Jonny Humphries needing a break!
I know your dad is the Team Manager, whilst your sister also plays – would you say it runs in the family?
As far as I remember, my family have always been into Rugby League. Back when I started playing, they always attended every game in sun, rain or snow.
You took part in the 2021 Grand Final – what was this like to experience?
It was a phenomenal experience! Whilst watching the game before, Leeds vs Warrington, the nerves started to kick in and I couldn’t believe it was happening as we stood in the tunnel waiting to go out onto the pitch. Unfortunately, we just fell short at the last hurdle, but we will rebuild and go again next year.
What would/does success look like for you?
I haven’t ever been lucky enough to win anything in my Rugby League career, and, hopefully, next year, success will come. We just need to beat Warrington in the Grand Final!
The Rugby League Disability set-up has gone from strength to strength in recent years – what is the next step?
It would be amazing to see new teams entering the competition, and, hopefully, we can have a great game with plenty of teams!
If you would like to sign up for either our PD or LD Rugby League teams, please email email@example.com.