Alex, who inspired the Charity RL4ALEX is a keen rugby league fan but because of his learning difficulties has found integration into mainstream rugby difficult due to his own unique understanding of the world. As a result his dad Stuart has launched the charity RL4ALEX in a bid to “improve the awareness, understanding and inclusion of children with learning difficulties and the within the Autistic Spectrum of Disorders, supporting these children in mainstream sports.”
Stuart explains: “We believe in empowering the child, building their confidence, developing enjoyment and a love of physical activity, along with an increased amount of social interaction and development for each individual by providing bespoke support packages and regimes for the child in existing mainstream environments.
“We aim to educate the surrounding network of people such as the coaches by providing them with specific support and mentorship in how to coach the children and provide a sounding board for anything they may find difficult or unable to cope with. We will also support the parents of the children within the same team in understanding how the process will work but ultimately how it will benefit everyone and not just the child who is being supported.
“Finally we will support the club to develop a sustainable environment long after we have gone, along with an advice number and future support should they need it for any other child.”
RL4ALEX are currently working towards raising an initial £5,000 to achieve ‘registered charity’ status, and are seeking sponsorship from individuals or businesses, along with partnerships with both amateur and professional rugby clubs nationwide.
“We are in the process of recruiting in a variety of positions and are proudly supported by our very own Advocate base – a group of professional players from Super League, Championship and Championship 1 clubs – which makes up what we like to call ‘Alex’s Army’.