19 Aug 2021
Matt Price: Learning Disability Rugby League player turns photographer and journalist thanks to inclusive volunteer programme
Young Warrington Wolves fan develops his media skills with RLWC trophy photo shoot and Women's Challenge Cup Final press conference courtesy of Community Integrated Care
Meet Matt Price - a star player for Warrington Wolves in the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League, and now a media sensation for the Rugby League World Cup 2021.
Matt has been able to gain new skills and enjoy a number of incredible experiences thanks to Community Integrated Care and RLWC2021’s ground-breaking inclusive volunteer programme.
On World Photography Day, RLWC2021 is celebrating the contributions of the young Warrington Wolves fan after he visited Oakwood Avenue Primary School to photograph the three Rugby League World Cup trophies, with ambassadors Jodie Cunningham and James Simpson meeting competition winner Kian Muse (below).
The money shot: Matt's photo of competition winner Kian Muse (centre) with RLWC2021 ambassadors and the RLWC trophies
“Being part of Community Integrated Care’s Rugby League World Cup 2021 photography club means a lot to me. I’ve had a longstanding interest in photography but was a bit unsure of how to start,” said Matt after the visit.
“When I heard about the club I jumped at the chance, as I like picking up new hobbies. The more I pick up, the more friends I can make. It’s an incredible feeling knowing I am playing a part in a massive global event.
“Normally, I would be a nervous about doing an appearance like I did with James and Jodie, as its so far out of my usual comfort zone. But I knew it would make me a better person. I’ve gained confidence and more experience from it.”
Matt in action behind the scenes at Oakwood Avenue Primary School
St Helens and England international Jodie Cunningham, who was presenting the RLWC2021 trophies on the day, is delighted with the impact the RLWC2021 inclusive volunteer programme is making.
“It was a pleasure to work alongside Matt as the photographer on our trophy visit to Oakwood Avenue Primary School and to see him showcase the media skills he has developed as part of the inclusive volunteering programme,” said the 2021 Challenge Cup winner.
“We are extremely grateful to our partner Community Integrated Care for helping to create these opportunities across the tournament and for nourishing the fantastic talent across the inclusive volunteers, this will help us to create a truly inclusive Rugby League World Cup,” she added.
This opportunity was made possible thanks to the specialist team at Community Integrated Care who have enabled Matt, and many others, to secure dream roles in the sport they love.
“Matt has so much potential,” said Lewis Webster, Sports Inclusion Communications Manager at Community Integrated Care.
“Community Integrated Care is driven to change people's lives and Matt’s success represents everything we are striving to do.
"It’s been a pleasure to see his confidence and passion for his craft grow. I’m excited by what he can achieve in the future!”
Matt (second from right) came out from behind the camera to have his photo taken with the RLWC trophies
Through various opportunities, including delivering a press conference for the 2021 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final, Matt has been able to meet and work alongside many of his inspirations, from England stalwarts Cunningham and Simpson to Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney.
Back on the pitch, Matt achieved his dream of representing his beloved Warrington Wolves, making his debut for their Learning Disability Rugby League team in 2019.
The Warrington youngster began his season at Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC, before rounding off the year with a special celebration at the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.
This made for an opening season to remember for Matt and is testament to the life-changing work being done by Community Integrated Care and its partners, RLWC2021, the Rugby Football League, and Super League.
For more information on Community Integrated Care and RLWC2021’s projects, click here.
To view a gallery of some of the best photos from the photography club, click here.