Cardiff Blue Dragons Rugby League have kick-started the new year by launching their Wheelchair Rugby League team to add to their ever expanding player base in the capital.
Players are now being recruited by the club during lockdown in readiness for training to start later in the year.
Already the Cardiff club runs teams from Young Dragons u9s level right up through to competitive age grades, men’s open age, over 35s ‘Masters’, plus the Women’s open age team which contains 12 Welsh international capped players.
Former Wales Wheelchair international side head coach Alana Sargent has been appointed as head coach of the Cardiff Wheelchair side. She has been involved in the sport since 2012 where she was head coach of Swindon St George, she coached Wales to their first of their Celtic Cup wins in 2016. She is also currently the Head of Wheelchair Match Officials in Wales and is on the technical advisory team for the forthcoming Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup.
She said: “I have been hooked on Wheelchair Rugby League since the first time I got involved, especially as it is so alike to the running game, but with a few well thought out adaptations. I am passionate about sports, health, fitness and inclusion and am really honoured and excited to be appointed as head coach for Cardiff Blue Dragons new Wheelchair team. With a real vision around equality and inclusion, it’s great be a part of Wales’ biggest Rugby League club’s further expansion.”
Louise Morgan, Head of Development for Cardiff Blue Dragons, said: “This an exciting new chapter in our club’s history. Cardiff Blue Dragons exists to push our sport of Rugby League throughout Cardiff and get players of all backgrounds to take part and compete. I’m delighted to welcome our new coach Alana to the Dragon Family as we continue our expansion.”
The club will also intend to build on Cardiff’s long and proud international caps collection, as qualified players will look to trial for Wales’ national team for this year’s Rugby League World Cup once the infrastructure of training, team building and league matches has started.
Wales Rugby League CEO Gareth Kear said: “A key part of the WRL strategy is to create sustainable Rugby League clubs that offer accessible sport for all. Cardiff Blue Dragons are a perfect example of this. As a governing body we are working with Sport Wales to fund the future growth of Wheelchair Rugby League and I look forward to the Blue Dragons developing more international players for us.”
All interested players who would like to try out for the Cardiff Blue Dragons side, regardless of experience, are encouraged to contact Alana on 07761 263111 for more information and to sign up.