Ned Powell joined the MRP Tribe this 2018 season as a PlayerMentor in the Brothers Colts Team. Ned is an inspiring and passionate young man who flourished within the program. This year, GingerCloud's 2nd Fundraising Luncheon, Ned shed light on the power of the bond formed between himself and his PlayerMentor Paddy and he assures us it's one that will last forever. We spoke to Ned to gain a further insight into his experiences with the MRP.
Q: How did you become involved in the MRP?
A: "I have known Ant and Megan for a long time now and every day, the work that they do, only becomes more impressive. After talking with Megan about some of the extraordinary feats that have been achieved by the GingerCloud foundations, I instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of their cause. The decision to give up a few hours a week to see young children develop both their social skills and their love for rugby involved no second-guessing and is something that I would recommend to anyone."
Q: What has been your favourite MRP moment?
A: "I will always remember this one particular Saturday when after our MRP game, I stopped and said hello to one of my mum’s friends. She was standing beside the brothers change rooms, on the verge of tears, after watching what she said was one of the most heart-warming things she had ever seen. She was talking about the MRP. It made me so proud to be involved in such an incredible program, where the spectators can’t help but marvel at the amazing and generous work of those involved. The MRP is a truly incredible initiative."
Q: Describe the bond you have formed with your MRP player?
A: "For me, my player's name was Paddy and the bond between us was unlike any other. When we weren’t busy perfecting try-scoring celebrations, I was teaching Paddy basic skills like running forwards, passing backwards and trying to kick straight. Every Saturday morning we would put these skills into practice. I had the privilege of donning the same jersey and running out with Paddy, side by side, to play what was always an entertaining and easy going game of footy. The MRP enables player mentors to create a bond with a certain player, that could not have been made anywhere else."
Q: What have you learnt from being a player mentor?
A: "For me, being a player mentor teaches you to be not so self-absorbed. It a chance to become mates with those who rely on you, inspire you, and constantly put a smile on your face. The MRP has allowed me to meet some incredible people and for that, I am extremely grateful. The MRP has allowed me to forge bonds that I am sure, will not be breaking any time soon."
If you would like to contribute to creating a generation for whom disability is normalised and create #BondsThatWontBreak, please visit: mymrp.org/donate-2. By making a regular commitment – no matter how big or small – together, we can make a difference, one rugby club at a time.