PORTADOWN PANTHERS Tag rugby for people with Learning Disabilities age 6+

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Portadown Panthers will be a new rugby section within Portadown RFC which will cater for people (age 6+) with Learning Disabilities.

Willie Gribben, who along with former British & Irish Lion Ronnie Lamont first introduced Mini Rugby to Ulster in 1972, & then to Portadown RFC in 1974, was so impressed when watching Tag Rugby groups for players with Learning Disabilities playing during the half time intervals at Ulster matches that he decided to explore the possibility of setting up of a group in Portadown.

Now, with the start of a new rugby season, this vision is set to become a reality with the introduction of Portadown RFC’s Tag Rugby Group, the Portadown Panthers. The group’s first get together, on Sunday 15th September, will take the form of a “Taster Day” when participants will get the opportunity to be involved in lots of rugby related activities. Training begins at 9.30 with a very willing band of coaches & volunteers eager to get the group up & running. It promises to be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Whilst the rugby activities are going on Willie Gribben will be on hand to deal with queries regarding the Panthers and how the group plan to develop.

Following the introductory “Taster Day” the group will meet again on Sunday 22 September when the Newforge Taggers, the first Tag Rugby Learning Disability club developed in Ireland, will visit Chambers Park to aid the introduction of the game and assist the Portadown Panthers’ players in their development. This will be the official launch of Portadown Panthers and it is hoped that Ulster players will be able to attend.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Portadown Panthers Learning Disabilities Tag Rugby section can contact Willie by E Mail: willie.gribben@googlemail.com or by phone (07739044084).

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