Learn football skills with new program

The Canberra Raiders under-20s players help launch The Disability Trust's Score Raiders rugby league program.
The Canberra Raiders under-20s players help launch The Disability Trust's Score Raiders rugby league program.

The Disability Trust has launched a new rugby league program in Canberra called Score Raiders.

The program provides people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in a weekly training session where they can showcase and learn the skills of rugby league.

To kick off their inaugural session last month the Canberra Raiders under-20s paid a surprise visit to help out and show their support.

The Disability Trust's sport and recreation manager Michael Norris said, "All the participants are huge fans of rugby league and passionate Raiders fans so they were very excited to have the Jersey Flegg Cup players come along.

"This program is a great way to encourage our participants' love for football and learn the skills associated with how to play the game."

The junior Raiders who came along to the launch were only supposed to help with drills for the first half an hour of the session but they ended up staying for the entire 90 minutes and even played a game of touch football with the participants at the end.

They have also agreed to help deliver the ongoing program once a fortnight following the success of the first session.

The program was developed following the success of the Illawarra's Score Dragons community program which was named the 2015 NRL Community Program of the Year.

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The partnership between The Disability Trust and the St George Illawarra Dragons Football Club has allowed them to establish a program that that builds an awareness around the importance of inclusion.

The benefits are twofold; the players have the opportunity to connect with their peers and learn to play a game they are passionate about, while most importantly the mainstream players and families have gained a new level of tolerance and respect.

Through the Score Raiders program they hope to put together a team that can participate in the local junior competition so the participants have the opportunity to experience what it's like to play on a weekly basis and to play the game they love in a more supported structure and setting.

The Disability Trust have launched a range of active programs in the region alongside the Score Raiders, including Star Dancers, Altogether Drama, and Tennis Queanbeyan and ACT.

"The Disability Trust provides a variety of programs to children, teenagers and adults with disabilities who want to improve their health and wellbeing whilst developing valuable sporting and social skills," Michael said.

"Our programs provide more than just the opportunity to attend weekly programs. They enable you to meet and make new friends and develop some lifelong friendships."

To find out more about The Disability Trust go to disabilitytrust.org.au or phone 1800 DISABILITY.