England’s men’s wheelchair team caught the nation’s attention during the recent Rugby League World Cup and then went and put on a thrilling display in front of a world record attendance to secure victory over France in the final.
Since then, and since the sport captured major audience attention due to its dynamic playstyle and inclusivity, the world champions have secured another award.
The team, managed and coached by Tom Coyd, have been named as Para Sport Team of the Year winning the prestigious Bill McGowran Trophy.
As voted for by the Sports Journalists Association it’s a hugely significant achievement and will be the cherry on top of their success last month.
Throughout the World Cup names such as Tom Halliwell, Jack Brown and Rob Hawkins started to become household names with all three performing exceptionally including skipper Halliwell securing the winning try in the 78th minute of the final.
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) December 8, 2022
A world record 4,526 people saw Halliwell break the line and score during England’s 28-24 victory and since then a series of taster sessions have been held all across the rugby league heartlands.
Those sessions have been attended by people of all genders and ages, spanning able bodied or disabled participants that have all taken to sports halls and sessions to give the sport a go.
The major recognition that this award will further add to the sport is huge, particularly because wheelchair rugby league is truly representative of rugby as opposed to its union equivalent in which the basic principle of passing backwards isn’t even implemented as a rule.
With more taster sessions popping up around the country and Super League clubs clamouring to facilitate them this is a sport with plenty of potential and it’s now getting recognition on a national scale.