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 LDSL player Ben Gommersall…
How would you explain your love for LDSL?
I have been a passionate supporter of Rugby League since the mid-90s when I went to my first ever game at Featherstone. Since then, my love for the fans has grown. Then to find out I had the opportunity to play, something I never believed possible, I jumped at the chance, and it has taken my love for the game to a new level.
How did you get in LDRL? – What is your journey? Who told you about it? Etc.
About three years ago, I was a volunteer with Rhubarb Radio and was head of sport. A new presenter came in who happened to play PDRL. I came to a training session found out about LDSL, and even though I qualify to play both, I felt the latter was the right direction for me.
How has the sport impacted your life, personally? (New Friends? Hobby?)
The sport has given me a new appreciation for my abilities, both in the game and in life itself. I have made some truly wonderful friends who are now a big part of my life. It has given me the opportunity to be more active, and to experience new events such as festivals.
How did your affiliation with Wakefield Trinity come about? (Have you always been a Wakefield supporter? When did you first come?)
I joined Wakefield Trinity LDSL just after the Magic Weekend in 2019. My first festival was a home festival and to wear the white of Wakefield made me very proud. The festival in Blackpool 2019 was special. To put myself in the position of a player on away games was brilliant. The travelling to the festival and playing other Super League teams, I was nervous and excited at the same time. At the end of the season in 2019, we were invited to an awards evening at the Grand Final at Old Trafford, and to experience that with my LDSL friends was something I will never forget.
The Rugby League Disability set-up has gone from strength to strength in recent years – what is the next step?
I would like to see LDSL players have the chance to play representative games such as a State of Origin-style event, and have players from all clubs representing their counties. Following on from that, I would like to see more exposure and recognition in the media to showcase what the fantastic players of the LDSL can do.