Today is International Day of People with Disability, a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.
For many years, Rugby League has provided a platform for people with disabilities to participate in our game through disability rugby league, including Wheelchair Rugby League, Physical Disability Rugby League, Intellectual Disability Rugby League and Push and Power Rugby League.
One of the many volunteers who has been instrumental in making Disabilities Rugby League a success in Australia is Joseph Chidiac, founder of Wheelchair Rugby League in Australia.
Joseph has been a rugby league fan his whole life and was the driving force behind the formation of wheelchair rugby league in Australia. He was the tour director for the Australian Wheelchair Rugby League team participating in the 2013 Festival of World Cups (England) and has overseen the New South Wales wheelchair rugby league competition since its inception in 2010.
Former rugby league great and current Men of League welfare and education manager Ben Ross, recently visited Joseph to spend time with him and congratulate him on his service to wheelchair rugby league over many years. Ross presented Chadiac with a signed jersey of the 2015 NSW Wheelchair Rugby League team that participated in the inaugural Lend Lease Wheelchair Rugby League Interstate Challenge.
"I'm in awe of the men, women and children who look past their disability to play the game they love and more importantly, live life to the full," said Ross.
"Joseph is a terrific person and has done so much for wheelchair rugby league over many years. I've no doubt that the league will continue to attract new participants and increase our game to even greater levels of inclusiveness."