Rugby League creates pathways for disabled players

He taiki ngāpara i te ao rīki nō Tāmaki ki te Tonga kāhore i te tuku i tana hauatanga kia noho hei tairo i a ia e whai nei i ōna moemoea. Inaianei he wero nui tā Jim Doolan o Ngāpuhi ki te arataki i te tira rīki haua o Aotearoa ki taumata kē.

E ai ki a Jim Doolan “It's a really positive thing for me to be able to help others. I have done it over the years with normal league as well - coaching, managing, training, but it's good to help these sort of players like myself that don't really get this opportunity”.

Ko te mate o Jim Doolan i ahu mai i te kai Thalidomide, he ringaringa poto kē ōna. Engari mā ngā tau toru tekau ko ia te pā kaiahi mō te karapū rīki o Ōtara. Inaianei ko te arataki i te hunga hauā o Aotearoa i roto i ngā mahi rīki tana mahi.

E ai ki a Doolan “I just see it as a good opportunity, not only to help others but to grow the game in New Zealand and hopefully catch up to Australia because apparently their like six years ahead of us”.

I hangaia te kapa i tēra tau ki te poipoi i tēnei hunga ki tētahi huarahi ano. A, kua tākaro rātou i ngā tukinga e toru i tēnei tau.

E ai ki a Sandra Michelle Hickey, “They just love it. They love to get out there and get dirty and roughed up and and walk home proudly with injuries. They're very much like their able bodied peers who are able to go out and play sports. These guys are now like them”.

I runga i ngā ekenga nui i tēnei tau, kua tohua a Jim rāua ko tōna hoa kaitākaro a Matthew Ngametua ki te whakataetae All Stars i Ahitereria mo te hunga haua, hei te marama o Hōnongoi.

E ai ki a Matthew Ngametua, “We will be able to show off our skills and our abilities. We're not really focused on our disabilities but our abilities and what we can do. And we can take the hits as well”.