This Friday 3rd December is International Day of People with Disability. Throughout the week we will be sharing content that promotes inclusion and celebrates the achievements within our rugby league community.
It started on a cruise ship, and now Canberra Raiders assistant coach Brett White is an Ambassador for the Heroes with Ability organisation.
Heroes with Ability provide opportunities for people with a disability to participate in sport whilst promoting health & wellbeing, strengthening social skills and advocating for inclusion.
The organisation offers ten-week sport programs, predominately focused on rugby league.
White recently became an Ambassador for the program, joining the likes of Nathan Cleary, Sean Keppie and Ryan Matterson.
White first became aware of the organisation while on a cruise ship holiday with his family. Heroes With Ability co-founder Marco Quintao happened to be on the same cruise ship, so the pair connected and White stayed in touch, helping whenever he could.
White was recently asked to do a Zoom call with participants from Heroes with Ability during lockdown, and that’s where he realised he could make a difference and be part of a special organisation.
“I did a Zoom call and it just so happened that that morning as I was setting up Jarrod Croker was in the room, so I said ‘Hey have you got a spare half hour do you mind jumping in with me?’,” White said.
“So he jumped in with me and we did the Zoom with all the participants in their program.
"It was wonderful, it was great for them to be able to get someone like Jarrod Croker talking to them but for us to sit there and listen to some of the stories and how it has changed some of their lives being involved in rugby league and involved in a team was incredible.
“It took me back to when I was kid my family had a horse-riding business and once a month we’d have a day where all the kids with a disability would come out and go horse-riding.
“It was such a rewarding experience, to grow up being able to help out and do that, and to see the rewards from it was amazing.
“So hearing these stories on the Zoom call during COVID really took me back to how powerful it can be, not only giving my time for those guys but hearing what it does for them.”
White hopes to be involved as much as he can as an Ambassador for Heroes with Ability and to continue promoting the amazing work they do.
To find out more about Heroes with Ability and to get involved, visit their website here