Last month, over 40 players from the NSW Physical Disability Rugby League Association (NSWPDRLA) were celebrated at their fourth annual presentation night.

Souths Cares have been long-time supporters of the NSWPDRL.

“Souths Cares has supported the Association for the past few years through providing sponsorship, able-bodied support players, greater exposure via demo games at Rabbitohs home games, and securing them a spot to play the curtain-raiser for the A Grade local derby between the Redfern All Blacks and La Perouse Panthers,” said Souths Cares Health and Education Programs Manager, Leellen Lewis.

“This is the second time we’ve attended the competition’s presentations and each occasion has been a real celebration of each players’ achievement – we’re very proud to be able to be involved.

“It’s clear that these players not only love their Rugby League but also relish the chance to get out on the field and have a run around. It’s inspiring to see that no disability stands in their way.”

A number of awards were given on the night with George Tonna, South Sydney Rabbits Captain and NSWPDRLA founder, taking out the gong for the 2015 Player of the Year.

Tonna said being named Player of the Year was an honour.

“To win such a prestigious award from The Association gives me great pleasure,” he said.

“Playing in such a great competition where all teams do their utmost to win – they play a hard game but play fair and with a lot of enjoyment.

“I dedicated the award to my family, who give me the drive and passion to play the greatest game of all and to my fellow players – it’s them that make me a better player and person in life.

“All the players deserve credit in what they have achieved this season.

“I’d like to thank the Association and volunteers who work tirelessly to make things possible for this game.

“I am looking forward to 2016 as we have some great events planned like the City vs Country in Tamworth, and All Star weekend and a proposed trip to play Sevens in NZ,” said George.

Lewis said Tonna’s words are typical of the attitude of all those involved in the sport.

“All of these players are truly thankful to be playing the game they love,” said Leellen.

“It’s a thing unique to the NSWPDRLA and we are proud to be a part of it in some way.”