PDRL Captain reflects on Origin victory and fundraising cycle

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Warrington’s Victoria Park hosted physical disability Rugby League’s first clash between the rival counties, and it was the first PDRL match played under the code’s new international rules.

Fellow Cas PDRL players Mick Colborn, Mark Gummerson, and Kenan Wilkes lined up alongside Nick and their Yorkshire team were victorious by a score of 16 points to 14.

Colborn scored one of the tries of the match and talking to, Nick put forward how much it meant to him to be a part of such an momentous occasion.

“Mick scored a really good try. It was a forty or fifty metre!

“Being part of the first ever origin game was a historic moment and continuing to make a contribution to these footnotes to help the game grow is an honour and a privilege.”

In July Nick took up the challenge of cycling from The Mend-A-Hose Jungle to Wembley Stadium for the Challenge Cup Final in a mission to raise money for all five PDRL teams in the UK.

After the small matter of a puncture along the way, Nick completed his journey in time to watch the Tigers at Wembley Stadium and smashed his target of raising £2,500 by nearly £1000!

Recently Nick has been to the five PDRL teams he has raised funds for and presented them each with a cheque to help them grow the sport in their area.

Touching on the moment he handed the cheques to Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, and his beloved Castleford Tigers, he explained that it was a fantastic feeling.

 “It was a really nice reaction. All of the lads were really appreciative, and we obviously spend a lot of time competing against each other. It’s just really nice to come together as a PDRL community – it’s not the biggest of communities but it was great that I was able to do something for all of our variant of the sport.

“I hope all the teams just get a little bit of something either to help them recruit or do something a bit better to lift the game whether that be buy a bit of kit or anything that helps them out. I’m just really happy that I’ve been able to help out.

“It was one of the thoughts that helped me through the more interesting phases of the cycle, whether it was really warm or unbeknownst to me I was cycling on a deflated tyre for twenty miles thinking I was just getting tired. 

“The thought of having that moment, giving some handshakes and being able to do something nice for our team and the others was one of things that helped me get through those tougher points.”

PDRL Rugby League has gone from strength to strength in recent years with the Castleford team experiencing a brilliant season this term.

With the introduction of the new origin match-up, Nick puts forward that this illustrates how far the sport has come and he hopes to see it build even further in the future.

“We are now entering a phase as a sport where we’ve had the origins game (Lancashire vs Yorkshire) which was the first time its ever come together, and we’re now building towards an England team. It’s really exciting and positive that we’re building this pyramid as we start taking the game forward.

“We can gain more of a platform and get knowledge of the sport out there for people that didn’t think they could play. There is a home for them in rugby league, no matter what issues they have had that’s stopped them before. There’s nothing stopping you from getting involved in any of the variants whether it’s our one (PDRL – Physical Disability Rugby League), wheelchair, veterans, tag, the LDRL (Learning Disability Rugby League) – there’s a home for everyone in rugby league.

“Everyone is hugely excited to see where PDRL can get to. What I want to do as my small part of PDRL is try to get the sport moving forwards so that it is easier for the next wave of players who come and hopefully it just builds and builds.”

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