Wooden Spoon supports Learning Disability programme

Wooden Spoon supports Learning Disability programme

Tuesday 16 April 2024 Written by: Mark Smith

The Newcastle Rugby Foundation has partnered with Wooden Spoon Durham and Wooden Spoon Northumberland to kick off a Learning Disability (LD) rugby programme. Aimed at empowering individuals with learning disabilities, the initiative was launched this week at Kingston Park Stadium.

The launch event saw a mix of Wooden Spoon Durham and Northumberland members, Newcastle Rugby Foundation staff, players from the LD team and Newcastle Falcons players coming together to highlight the programme.

The event featured an inclusive rugby session tailored to meet the specific needs of participants. Newcastle Falcons players joined in, engaging in various activities and a mini-tag rugby match.

Thanks to the collaboration with Wooden Spoon, the programme will be equipped with new equipment like tag belts, preparing them for future fixtures and competitions. They will also be given a new kit to wear when competing, giving all individuals a sense of belonging and being part of the team.

More than just a game, the LD programme promises an inclusive space for individuals with additional needs across the North East. From physical exercises to team building and skill-building sessions, participants will enjoy a diverse range of activities. Plus, they will have the chance to showcase their talents in national competitions, pitting their skills against other LD teams nationwide.

Open to all abilities regardless of prior experience, the programme champions accessibility. With both organisations committed to broadening their reach, they aim to make a meaningful impact on the lives of participants and their families, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within the rugby community.

Darren Greco, funding and development manager at Newcastle Rugby Foundation, said: “We are excited to be developing and delivering a Learning Disability rugby programme here at Kingston Park Stadium, in partnership with Wooden Spoon Durham and Wooden Spoon Northumberland. This is a great opportunity for families to come together through the values and ethos of rugby.”

Iain Stewart, chair of Wooden Spoon Northumberland, said: “Wooden Spoon Northumberland are delighted to support the Learning Disability programme organised by Newcastle Rugby Foundation. The programme fits well with our National Game Changer campaign to help give young people with a disability the chance to become a rugby player.”

Olly Lawson, committee member of Wooden Spoon Durham, added: “It’s a pleasure to support programmes like this one, positively impacting the lives of those with learning disabilities. This truly embodies what Wooden Spoon was set up for – using rugby as a vehicle to do good.”

For more information about this new initiative and how to get involved, please contact Stephen Parsons on stephen.parsons@newcastle-falcons.co.uk .