Those wanting to test out their rugby league skills without the tackling component are being encouraged to join in on the upcoming All Abilities Rugby League come and try days.
Organised by local group Walk With Me 4 Autism, the event aims to teach any one of any ability the rules of rugby league without the contact that the traditional sport entails.
Program coordinator Sonya Olsen said the first come and try day would be held this weekend at the Gin Gin Rugby League Sports Ground from 11 am to 1 pm and again on 11 June at The Waves grounds.
“The format will include stations set up featuring different skillsets of rugby league for participants to come and have a go at,” she said.
“There will be plenty of footballs to play with along with learning the super-cool NRL Mascot Moves.
Sonya said the come and try days were a taste of what the All Abilities Rugby League program offered, which was open to participants from five years old to young adults.
“Participants do not have to have a disability to take part in our program,” she said.
“It is open to everyone and is also well-suited to children who love football but are not keen on the tackle component of junior rugby league as our program is non-contact.”
Sonya said the All Abilities Rugby League program had been hitting many milestones since its inception in the Bundaberg Region.
“In our first year we won QRL Community Program of the Year,” she said.
“We were recognised for our work around improving the health and well being, providing children of all abilities the chance to play modified rugby league alongside their peers in a fun, supportive and inclusive environment.
“We had parents tell us we had changed their children's lives so that was very heartwarming to hear.
“The smiles on the players' faces last year when they received their medallions and team photos was just incredible as for many children that was their first sports award.”
Sonya said Bundaberg's NRL home team, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, had been a massive support to the program as well as many other local sponsors.
“(Canterbury) will be providing our teams a once-in-a lifetime opportunity when they play in Bundaberg in July,” she said.
“We must also thank all our sponsors and supporters as we offer our program cost free to families and this would not be possible without the massive contribution we have had from businesses and families.
To register, go to Play Rugby League and enter 4671 then follow the WALK WITH ME (Gin Gin) prompts.