FSG Australia, in partnership with the TFH Gold Coast Titans, officially launched Gold Coast Titans Physical Disability Rugby League (GCTDRL) on Monday 28th May, at the Ballina Seagulls Rugby League Football Club.
GCTPDRL will introduce a side to the existing NSW Physical Disability Rugby League Association (NSWPDRLA) competition in 2019, making a huge difference in the lives of those who have a disability and burning desire to play rugby league.
Liam Hourigan was too excited to sleep the night before the launch, all the 20 year old with disabilities could think about was pulling his new football jersey – just like the rugby league stars he watched on television do each week.
Titans' Club Ambassador Brenton Lawrence was at the launch, stating just how important the day was for Liam, his team mates and the Titans.
"Our club is all about giving back to the community and today showcases just how important the Northern Rivers are to us – from Grafton right up to Toowoomba, all of our regional towns and communities, are as important to the Titans as the Gold Coast locals are."
"Today is also special for this team, as it is for everybody, and you can see the adulation on their faces."
"The ability to run out onto the field and play football is thrilling and something everybody has the right to do and being able to wear that Titans jumper means a lot to them, and it means a lot to anyone who gets to wear it."
Terry Litton, who will Captain the side, thanked the Titans for their tremendous support, "we are very appreciative that the Titans have welcomed us into their family."
"The boys are happy to just feel normal, do what everyone else is doing, and live out their dreams of playing football."
The NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams, topped off Monday's launch with a $5000 grant to help the team with transport and equipment costs.
In preparation for the 2019 season, the GCTPDRL side has been training on Wednesday afternoons from 5pm to 6pm at Kingsford Smith Park in Ballina, thanks to the Seagulls and will play their first game on June 23rd.
The side will be made up of players from South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales regions, with six players from Ballina, four from Lismore, two from the Gold Coast and one each from Lennox, Casino and Alstonville.
Titans CEO, Graham Annesley said that "The excitement on their faces when the received the Titans jerseys for the first time truly shows the power in sport to provide emotional benefits to people with disability".