Disabled athlete Adrian Derbyshire is getting ready to combine his successful anti-bullying and hate crime campaign with a new challenge as Club Captain of the Warrington Wolves Wheelchair Rugby League team.
The Wolves are starting the new all inclusive team following the successful launch of the physical disability and women’s teams set up in 2018.
Adrian was invited to become club captain and player coach by Wolves Foundation chief executive Neil Kelly who said: “The team will be all inclusive – you don’t have to be disabled or a wheelchair user to take part.
“We already have lots of young people and adults involved in the various schemes we run and this is an extension of our drive to get everyone involved and enjoying themselves.
“Anyone who knows Adrian is well aware of his inspirational he is and as a wheelchair user he was the ideal man for the job.
He has been a patron of the foundation for a long time and will be able to bring his inspiring message of Inspire/Believe/Succeed to our new venture.”
Adrian said: “I was chuffed when Neil invited me to take part. As a former champion athlete I’ve missed the intensity of competition as my life has taken a number of turns in recent years.
This is exactly the type of challenge I have been missing and will mix well with my ongoing campaigns on disability awareness and mental health.
Come and have a go
“It’s in the very early stages just now, but we already have the wheelchairs and other equipment so anyone who wants to try out can come and have a go.”
Adrian and Neil will be welcoming potential team-mates to an open trials night at Woolston Sports Centre in Warrington with a couple of England coaches on hand to assess potential.
Up to speed
Said Neil: “We will possibly be entering the league this year – it depends on how many people show an interest.
We will definitely be playing some games, even if only in a development league or wheelchair rugby festival to bring us up to speed on the level that other teams are playing at.”
The squad is being formed with one eye on the 2021 Rugby League World Cup where men’s women’s and wheelchair tournaments will run side by side.
Said Neil: “You never know – someone who coms along to our try-outs could be playing in the World Cup in two years’ time!”
To read more about Adrian Derbyshire – visit his website here: www.theadrianderbyshirefoundation.co.uk/