Physical Disability Rugby League & Rugby Union player, Chris Young, joins the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Chris has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.
Chris is a Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) player and has played for Leeds Rhinos since 2018, when the first PDRL game was held at Anfield in 2018. Chris has also played Rugby Union for Selby RUFC for over 10 years. Chris now his sights set on securing a place in the England Squad at the first ever PDRL World Cup later this year.
“As a Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) and Rugby Union player, sport has changed my life. Maintaining good physical health has definitely improved my mental health; I am keen to ensure that while promoting PDRL, and encouraging more young adults to play, mental health and wellbeing are also part of the conversation. Through my experiences at Leeds Rhinos, Selby RUFC, and in the community, I know there has been a worrying rise in the number of students and young adults experiencing mental health challenges.
I am therefore delighted to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health throughout the UK. Professional Rugby League, Rugby Union and Disabled Rugby League players have the platform to share their experiences of mental health to reduce stigma and raise awareness; I hope players from teams throughout the UK will joinme as BRIT Ambassadors and champion the BRIT Challenge. By doing so, these Elite Athletes can encourage their chosen university or colleges to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge and support the mental health and fitness of students and young adults within their communities..
The BRIT 2021 Challenge is an inclusive team feel-good fundraiser that enables students and young adults of all abilities to take part in wherever they are (at home or on campus), by either hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). Teams have until 1st July to complete their 2,021 mile team targets and I hope professional Rugby Union, Rugby League and PRDL players will add some miles to their chosen university or college targets.
I would be thrilled to encourage students and staff at Selby College and Leeds City College, should they enter teams in the BRIT 2021 Challenge. I wish every student and staff member who take part in Yorkshire and Humberside the very best of luck with their BRIT Challenge.”
Following a congenital amputation to his right arm at birth, Chris has always wanted to live life to the full and play competitive sport. There is rugby league heritage in his family, as Chris’ uncle, David Nelson, played professional rugby league for Leeds, Huddersfield and Keighley.
Three years ago, Chris represented Leeds Rhinos, against Warrington, in the first Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) match held in Great Britain.
Since then, Chris has been championing the sport and sharing how PDRL has opened doors for keen rugby players, just like him, to still play competitive sport and create some unforgettable memories, all while making lots of new relationships and friends for life. Part of the reason Chris wanted to get involved was to help grow the sport and tackle stereotypes around disability, which is why he is keen to go out into the community, promote PDRL and explain how the power of sport can change lives.
Chris recently played in his first PDRL match for over a year, following COVID-19 restrictions being lifted on the sport. With the first ever PDRL World Cup on the horizon at the end of 2021, Chris is hoping to secure a place on the team and represent England at the tournament.
In addition to being a PDRL player, Chris has played rugby union for Selby RUFC for ten years and has also captained the side.
For more information about the Leeds Rhinos PRDL Team, please visit the Leeds Rhinos Foundation website.
For more information about PDRL in the UK, please visit the Rugby League website.
For more information about Selby RUFC, please visit their website.