A COMMUNITY group that gives people with learning disabilities and autism the chance to play an adapted version of Rugby League is shortlisted for a national award.

Widnes-based Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League is up for the 'Best community group contribution to sport and physical activity’ from Groundwork, a charity which helps transform lives in the UK's most disadvantaged areas.

The Learning Disability Super League is a non-competitive game, which focuses on encouraging participation and skills development.

The programme promotes the development of skills, confidence and positive experiences, to encourage people living with learning disabilities and autism to get involved with playing rugby.

This world-first initiative is the first ever example of a professional sports league sharing its brand with a learning disability sports programme.

Mark Adams, Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League's chief executive, said: "We're delighted to have been shortlisted.

"The league has had a phenomenal first year.

"It has been truly inspirational, seeing the passion and excitement from the players, when they represent the clubs that they love.

"This has only been possible because of the values and commitment of Super League, the RFL, the clubs, and the entire rugby league family.

"This project delivers more than just the opportunity to participate in the great game of rugby league – it brings communities together, creating unforgettable opportunities and changes lives.”

In total 30 finalists have been whittled down from 750 nominations and will attend the Groundwork Community Awards ceremony in London on November 21.

Ten awards are up for offer, with three finalists in each category, and in addition, all groups will up for the People's Choice award where the winner will be chosen via an online vote.

Groundwork is a charity working locally and nationally to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.

Chief executive Graham DuxBury said: "As a charity working to support grassroots groups, we know how difficult it can be to secure funds, recruit volunteers and keep vital projects and services going.

"We also know that many groups are having to respond to increasing levels of need, particularly in areas where other local services have been cut or closed.

"That's why we need to do all we can to celebrate the achievements of those working tirelessly to make life better for others and help them share their stories with people who can support what they do."