The story, which is Julio, total deafness, Halifax Panthers Wheelchair RL and the RLWC 2021
Julio was born in El Salvador on 30th September 1993.
Family sought asylum in the UK on 2nd January 2021.
They have lived in Halifax since 22nd January 2021.
Julio Cesar Hernandez Acevedo was first introduced to Halifax Panthers Wheelchair RLC after he had attended a running game along with Adrian Bell who is the Integration Programme Co-ordinator for St Augustine’s Centre based on Hanson Lane in Halifax. Adrian contacted the club and brought Julio along to his first training session.
Club volunteer Nicki Slingsby, single mother of three, now young men, one of whom is Harry Brown a disabled Paralympian Wheelchair GB basketball player living in Albacete, Spain and Jack Brown who captained and played for Halifax and England, now living in Townsville, Australia Plus her youngest son Joseph who currently plays for Calderdale Wheelchair Basketball Club and is still living in Halifax.
Nicki and several of the group liaise with Julio by Google translate which, works very well. He has grasped the essence of the game and loves the camaraderie, and his skills are growing with each session, as being a physically able person pushing the sports-chair isn’t a natural action. Sensory impairment has helped all the group to be patient and acknowledge they must be in front of Julio for him to realise his attention. Likewise, Julio has learned how to react and respect his peripheral vison to see where he should on the court due to him not being able to hear his teammates calls.
The exposure of the game from the RLWC has increased the clubs’ attendances and cultural mix, with Asian and European local young people coming along to try the sport.
Now with the expressions of interest being shown for the world cup in France in 2025 he just maybe able to play for his ‘ Home ‘ country?