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The NSW Wheelchair Rugby League is holding a public challenge event at Menai on Saturday August 23.
With a couple of days to go to the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League public challenge event former International Ian Thomson is starting to get a bit nervous.

“In my career as a player and later on as an administrator and coach I have faced many challenging times but this Saturday (23rd August) will be up with the most challenging,” said Mr Thomson.

“I have seen footage of Wheelchair Rugby League and they make it look so easy – but I am assured it is not.”

Former Manly player Joe Galuvao and other former first-graders, Hazem El Masri, Ben Ross and Steve Turner will be part of the event to be held at the Menai Indoor Sports Centre.

Also trying the sport for the first time are members of the NSW parliament.

The Hon Niall Blair, the Hon Lynda Voltz and disability minister The Hon John Ajaka, will join with the public in having a go.

The event is part of the build-up to the start of the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League competition, and it is hoped it will entice more players to participate.

Chairman of Wheelchair Rugby League Australia, Laurie Lawira said people of all abilities should take the challenge and give the sport a go.

“Our sport is open to all, you do not have to have a disability or be in a wheelchair to play,” Mr Lawira said.

“We often get spectators who are hesitant on trying the sport because they see and hear the crashes, but in reality once they get in the chairs and have a go, they really enjoy themselves and want to play more often.”

Registrations for the new competition will open soon.

“There are some spots still available in some of the teams so if you are looking for a fun and exciting challenge come along and give it a go. You really will have fun,” Mr Lawira said.

WHERE: Menai Indoor Sports Centre, 98-150 Allison Crescent, Menai NSW.

WHEN: Saturday 23rd August 6pm to 8pm.

WHO: Teams from NSW Rugby League, the NSWRL Academy, ABC Grandstand Radio the Menai Indoor Sports Centre and Aristocrat Technologies, will join the teams from the National Rugby League, NSW Parliamentary Team and the Public.

COST: Free public event.

CONTACT: Steve Hewson on 0411 233 783 or email

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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