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 PDRL participants embark on a trip of a lifetime to Australia, shown exclusively on Amazon Prime.
Please see our next Q&A with PDRL participant, Ben Reynolds…
How would you explain your love for PDRL?
My love for PDRL and just the sport in general it has helped me so much in the past. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities disability Rugby League has given me and where we can go into the future.
How did you get in PDRL? – What is your journey?
I started out playing for Methley as my junior team, and a family member told me about PDRL. Ever since then, I haven’t looked back and really enjoy representing Wakefield Trinity in Physical Disability Rugby League.
How has the sport impacted your life, personally?
Rugby league and PDRL has been a gift it has gave me something to look forward to every week. At 5 years old, I was involved in an accident which saw me unconscious over my sixth birthday, being released fully at 7, but I still had to go for check-ups until I was about 15. PDRL has just helped me so much, not just with my fitness, but with my social side as well. The sport has me so much more included than I was at Methley and to know that I’m playing alongside people that are going through similar things to me, it’s just changed my life so much.
I know you play with your Dad, how has it been playing in the same team as your parent?
It has brought me and my Dad a lot closer over recent years. To have the opportunity to play alongside him has just made me so proud.
Are there any memories or times you look back with fondness or pride? (Grand Finals, Old Trafford etc.)
I just feel so proud to be part of an amazing team and set up at Wakefield Trinity. The sport of Physical Disability Rugby League has given me so many new opportunities I thought I’d never have had.
When someone says, ‘PDRL’ what are your first thoughts?
I think ‘inspirational’ is the correct word to use. To have a physical disability, but to still play a sport as tough as rugby league just amazes me. Every person involved should be extremely proud of what they have achieved by playing the game.
What would/does success look like for you?
Everything is centred about the importance of teamwork and standing up for your team. This is something I am a big believer in.
The Rugby League Disability set-up has gone from strength to strength in recent years – what is the next step?
Hopefully more publicity! Getting more people interested in PDRL is important for the sport’s growth, which will, hopefully, include seeing the game advertised on the biggest stages like the BBC or Sky Sports.