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 third Q&A with PDRL player, Josh Goodfellow…
How would you explain your love for PDRL?
Coming from 15+ years of competing in individual sports, track sprints (100m + 200m) then more recently, bodybuilding, it is really refreshing to be part of a team that I now consider a family and experience the crazy whirlwind of PDRL. The sport is so unique, whereby we’re all people who have differing disabilities or illness’ either from birth or life events, but when you take to the turf, none of that matters. We all love Rugby and relish competition and PDRL gives us that platform and allows us an opportunity to play the game we love, no matter what!
How did you get in PDRL? – What is your journey?
It was by chance, to be honest. Craig Shepard got in touch with me on social media a few years ago, following my move from Lincolnshire up to Yorkshire, to see if I would be interested in coming to training. Having never played Rugby before, it was daunting, but after the first training session, I got the bug. Being a complete novice, I had no idea what to expect, but fast forward three years, I am still loving the journey and pulling on that Trinity shirt is some feeling!
How has the sport impacted your life, personally?
The sport has impacted me hugely. It has given me experiences I never thought I would have! Being part of a team, a family, and a sport that provides so many people with the opportunity to do things they otherwise deemed seemingly impossible fills me with great pride. Not to mention the lifelong friends I have made since being with the club.
When someone says, ‘PDRL’ what are your first thoughts?
Equality, diversity, opportunity. “You’ve got to see it to believe it “
Are there any memories or times you look back with fondness or pride?
For me it has to be the curtain raiser for the 2019 Super League Grand Final against Castleford at Old Trafford. I had just finished my first season of PDRL and was still very much finding my feet. Then, all of a sudden, I am playing PDRL at Old Trafford. That game will live long in the memory for me as I scored my first and only PDRL try at the Theatre of Dreams. As a lifelong Man United fan that was pretty special. Also, a big thanks to Paul Gallen for the assist!
What would/does success look like for you?
Being the best PDRL side in the country, inspiring as many people to play and support as possible along the way. For me, constantly improving my game and being an asset to the team.
The Rugby League Disability set-up has gone from strength to strength in recent years – what is the next step?
Absolutely the sport has gone from strength to strength, but so much more could be done. Providing teams and the league with more coverage across media outlets, whether it be more game coverage, regular league, team and sport updates for people to follow and support. The more people see and experience PDRL, the more players, sponsors, fans and teams will want to get involved in our sport. The more we can boost the profile of PDRL, the bigger and better it will be for everyone concerned!