We have officially kicked-off the season across Queensland with our MRP Players and PlayerMentors – new and old – from our host clubs taking to the fields for their very first training session.
Brothers in Brisbane and Townsville got the season off to a flying start on Thursday evening, and what a heart-warming afternoon it was for both clubs! Brothers Brisbane had all MRP divisions – MRP, MRP 7s and MRP Colts – at Crosby Park, while Brothers Townsville was on debut with its first MRP team.
MRP Players were hand in hand with their PlayerMentors, whom they met for the first time, as if they were life-long friends, while embracing being cheered on by parents and friends on the sidelines. For the first time, these girls, boys and young adults with learning and perceptual disabilities had the opportunity to be in the spotlight and experience the sheer thrill of playing rugby.
Brothers Townsville’s training was a night of belonging, which was reflected in their first game of the season the next day at Townsville District Rugby Union (TDRU) fields. The MRP Players donning their very first rugby jersey made for the most heart-warming uniform as they were accompanied with smiles from ear-to-ear from each and every player. And with this, our PlayerMentors were glowing with pride!
Friday afternoon also saw all of our Brisbane and Toowoomba clubs – North, Easts, Wests, Redlands, USQ Saints and Toowoomba Bears – and their respective MRP teams brave the rain to meet one another at their training session. From name-games to MRP-specifically developed ball-drills, each and every MRP Player and PlayerMentor took advantage of and embraced the first session of the season. Skills were learnt and friendships were certainly made! It made for an exciting afternoon in preparation for their first Saturday fixture.
All MRP Clubs’ first game was a home game, where the MRP Players were able to put into practice their new skills from training and truly experience being part of a team sport. It’s safe to say a lot of tears were shed among everyone involved!
The MRP Team cannot wait to continue to witness the healing power of rugby and in doing so, work towards creating a generation to whom disability is normalised – one rugby club at a time!