Staff and students from Liverpool Hope University are celebrating a historic Rugby League World Cup triumph after being part of the victorious England Lions Physical Disability side’s backroom team.
The University’s course had four representatives in the national team’s set-up for the first ever Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) World Cup, which England won with a 42-10 eclipse of New Zealand in the final.
Clinical Tutor Jessica Law was the sport rehabilitator for Shaun Briscoe’s side and was supported by students Adam El-Agaty, Katie Gow and Sara Seo, who undertook placements during the weeklong tournament.
The Hope quartet were responsible for injury assessment and treatment, taping and strapping and post-match recovery sessions, whilst Jessica was pitch-side for every training session and game.
“It’s an incredible feeling and I am so proud of the team,” she said after England were crowned champions at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.
“Being in camp with the team allowed me to get to know each of them, learn about their story and provide the best care I could throughout the duration of the tournament.
“It’s hard to put into words but I am immensely proud to have been involved with the team and it’s been a privilege to work with each and every one of them. I’ve come away with amazing memories and friends for life.”
Hope’s Sport Rehabilitation course has had significant involvement in the Rugby League World Cup.
Clinical Tutor Victoria Joyce is working with the Canada Ravens women’s team and a total of 36 students undertook placements during the tournament, including 21 in their second year and 15 from the final year cohort.
They have worked with teams from across the men’s competition, including Tonga, Lebanon, Italy, Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea and also the physical disability tournament with England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand.
The England Lions also visited the University’s Hope Park campus, where students administered a massage session ahead of their final group stage game.
For Adam El-Agaty, who was part of the matchday backroom team as England beat New Zealand in the final, it has been an invaluable opportunity and one he believes will benefit him as he seeks to forge a career in the industry.
“The experience has been amazing,” he said.
“Getting to be up close and personal with the squad and staff was great and a fantastic insight to major sporting events from behind the scenes.
“I’m extremely proud to say I had some involvement with the PDRL World Cup winners. To say you’ve worked with World Cup winners is extremely rare and special, so to do that while still studying and learning is a massive achievement to add to my CV.
“To top it off a few of the players presented me with a winner’s medal for helping them throughout the tournament which was surreal and totally unexpected.”>
Sara Seo, an international student from Japan, who was also part of the successful England Lions set-up, echoed Adam’s sentiments.
“I am really proud of being involved in the first PDRL World Cup winners and appreciate being given this opportunity,” she added.
“It was a fantastic experience to be involved in a professional sports environment. This experience will definitely help my studies and my future career as a therapist.”