- Successful debut for mixed ability rugby
- Bumble Bees get a great reception
Photo: RFU Archive
Castleford RUFC's Willowbridge headquarters were buzzing both on and off the field on Sunday (August 11) when the West Yorkshire club played host to the Bumble Bees Barbarians, England’s only mixed abilities rugby team.
A packed clubhouse was captivated by a presentation by the Bumbles’ inclusive rugby team about the benefits to be gained from adopting an inclusive club membership before the visitors took part in an enthralling match against a Castleford Select XV.
The Bumble Bees are trail blazers and are England’s only mixed ability team, featuring players with and without disabilities playing contact rugby. They were invited to kick-start Castleford’s Creating Connections Inclusive Sport Fund project, which aims to increase the number of disabled people over the age of 14 taking part in regular sporting activity.
The club is one of only five clubs in the city of Wakefield to achieve the designation of Champion Club in recognition of the steps taken to become truly inclusive.
Through the Creating Connections initiative Castleford RUFC will promote regular opportunities for disabled people to take part in physical activity and play rugby at their club and help to facilitate a better understanding of the desire for provision of inclusive activity.
Castleford RUFC’s Honorary Secretary, Steve Ball, said: “The Bumble Bees are the best advertisement for the benefits to be gained by giving more disabled people the opportunity to be active and, more so, to engage fully in rugby.
“I have never heard a packed clubhouse so quiet when listening to the presentation and the full applause was heartfelt. We were truly grateful for their assistance today.”
Daniel Price, Castleford’s first team player-coach, summed up the whole day, saying: “What a fantastic day for the club. Today was special and I learned a lot about my players and the way they approached the match, which was played in tremendous spirit. I was very proud to be a Castleford player and very humbled to be involved in such a great fixture.”
Mark Goodwin of the Bumble Bee Barbarians confirmed his pleasure in assisting another rugby club. He added: “We really enjoyed the whole day and our lads gave a great demonstration of how to promote rugby for all. We are looking forward to the return fixture which looks like being in December.”
Lisa Moseley of West Yorkshire Sport said: “It was great to witness such a good turn out and Castleford RUFC have shown how local clubs can be involved to increase the number and quality of inclusive opportunities.
“Today was a prime example of why I am really excited about Creating Connections, which is funded by the Sport England Inclusive Sport Fund, and which aims to link sport, health and disabled people’s organisations across West Yorkshire to create a pathway for sports participation.”