Two new additions to Wales Wheelchair staff

Wales Rugby League have appointed two new additions to their Wheelchair Rugby League international staff in Sammie Hann and Steve Abel.

Hann has been appointed Player Welfare Manager and she will also be part of the Strength and Conditioning team and working alongside Alana Sargent. A Level 2 Fitness Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer, she is also a Hatton Academy certified boxing coach and trained in paediatric first aid.

She said: “I already know the team, having worked with them before. I applied for this role because I love working with the team and if I can help them in any way then I’m willing to try. I’m really excited to be working alongside such a wonderful group of people and helping the team in any way.”

Abel joins the squad as the Assistant Team Manager. A rugby league match official at all levels for 28 years, for the last 18 years, he has been heavily involved with Wheelchair Rugby League in England as their Match Officials Development Coach, Appointments and Admin Officer. He is also a DBS verifier for the Rugby Football League as part of the safeguarding team.

He says: “I have always helped support both disabled and non-disabled players, coaches, support staff, and referees to achieve their personal goals. This is something I enjoy doing, and in this role with Wales Rugby League, I believe will help me to continue to help others achieve their goals, I also think that not only can I offer new ideas at international level but may be able to support and help grow the domestic game in Wales.

“I was lost for words when I got informed that I was successful with my application and interview. I’m looking forward to my first official camp at the end of this month, when I will officially meet the team, along with working alongside them as we all get ready for up and coming internationals. It will be a proud moment for me working alongside some great individuals.”

Stephen Jones, Head of Wheelchair Development in Wales, said: “Steve brings a wealth of experience in our sport at admin and refereeing levels and will be a great addition to the management team. He is respected for what he knows and can do across the sport so looking forward to working with him.

“Sammie is like a human dynamo. Her personality and the energy she will bring to the S&C team will take it to a new level, but one of her best gifts is her empathy with everyone and her easy to talk to attitude will make her the perfect candidate for the player welfare role.

“I think we have been very fortunate that these two extraordinary people wanted to be part of our team and help us to move forward.”

Wales will take on Scotland and Ireland in this year’s Celtic Cup on Saturday 8 June in Galway, defending the trophy they’ve won on the last seven occasions.