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, Jonny Humphries…
How would you explain your love for PDRL?
It’s like a breath of fresh air. From pre-season to the last game of the campaign, nothing compares to it! Apart from my wife and kids, I suppose.
How did you get in PDRL? – What is your journey?
All thanks to Adam Fleming! I saw a post he put on Facebook and was interested in a heartbeat. He put me in contact with Craig Shepherd, and I got the nod to say that I was classified as a PDRL player, I was like a kid on Christmas Day. Ever since then, I haven’t looked back.
How has the sport impacted your life?
It’s massively impacted my life, in more ways than people could ever know. Going from playing for 18 years at Eastmoor Dragons to then been told I would never play again was heart-breaking. If I’m honest, it affected me mentally more than anything. When I heard about PDRL, I jumped at the chance to get back involved in Rugby once again. My wife has even said she has seen a change in me since I’ve been able to play again!
Are there any memories or times you look back with fondness or pride? (Grand Finals, Old Trafford etc.)
Walking out at Belle Vue with my kids for Father’s Day will be a memory that stays with me forever. As well as this, getting to play in two finals gives me massive pride and I know it does for the whole team. It just shows what hard work we all put in.
I know that Trinity is your team – how does it feel to represent the club you support?
One of the best feelings ever! Never in a million years did I think I’d be playing the game I love, wearing the Trinity badge.
When someone says, ‘PDRL’ what are your first thoughts?
My first thought is ‘when’s the next game?’ And getting that game day buzz even in the offseason.
What would/does success look like for you?
Just been able to get back out on the field is a massive success for me, personally. I’m playing Rugby League, what more do I need?!
The Rugby League Disability set-up has gone from strength to strength in recent years – what is the next step?
The next step for me would be to get more teams involved. It would be awesome to see local amateur clubs have PDRL teams up and down the country.