The launch of the Mersey Vikings got off to a sensational start over the weekend. Friday saw Trust in Widnes who started the new team hold a taster training session at Riverside College’s, Cronton campus which had nearly a 100 students trying the game out, some of the students and staff then offered to take part in a warm up match for the main event on the Saturday.
The Hatton’s Travel Wheelchair Challenge which involved the Steve Prescott Foundation team of ex Rugby League legends against the current World Champions, the England Wheelchair RL team, which brought a three figure crowd to watch this new form of RL.
The Challenge drew interest from Sky Sports, Granada T.V. and local radio stations who all covered the day. The Mersey Vikings look set to now take off as Riverside College have offered to host the new club and include the sport within its curriculum. There have also been enquiries from schools across the area, eager for the Trust to organise in-school training sessions. It seems that the Mersey Vikings tick all the right boxes, in terms of accessibility.
‘What a start for the new club! It was exhilarating to have Steve Prescott MBE and his team of ex-internationals willing to try this version of the sport. They all said it was one of the hardest games they had played but they still had a fantastic day!
A Trust in Widnes spokesperson said “We have immense admiration for the folk who play the sport on a regular basis, they really play to win and enjoy every minute of it!”
The day concluded with a sportspersons evening attended by Steve Prescott MBE, Steve Hall and members of the Foundation. The audience were entertained by guest speaker, Robbie Paul who was kept in check by Master of Ceremonies, Dave Woods of the BBC.
It’s an exciting time for the sport of Wheelchair tag RL with new teams forming in Gateshead, Medway, Bradford, Nottingham and Wolverhampton. These will join the established teams in Halifax, Wigan, Leeds and Catalans who have been supported by their local professional clubs.