Redlands lague legend Josh Pople innovating for disability inclusion in sport

LOCAL league legend Josh Pople is using his own story and innovative ideas to help children with disabilities get more involved in sport.

RUGBY LEAGUE LEGEND: Josh Pople is advocating for inclusion in sport.

RUGBY LEAGUE LEGEND: Josh Pople is advocating for inclusion in sport.

Pople, who has cerebral palsy, has been involved with Redlands rugby league teams for many years and is working out ways for sport to become more inclusive.

Mother Lisa said Pople was keen to contribute to his sport wherever he could.

"Josh has done the theory side of coaching through Queensland Rugby League years ago, and also has taken the opportunity with Sporting Wheelies and Sport Connect as a spokesperson, so even though he can't play, there are other avenues," she said.

"Josh also advocated for a school student who wanted to play touch football, so he spoke at the school and talked about ways to modify the field size, and he came up with the idea to use a pool noodle to attach to the back of her chair to touch so she could play."

Pople, 27, has been involved with his rugby league team, the Redlands Parrots, for the past seven years, and the Capalaba Warriors for five years previously, becoming a LeagueSafe officer and a valuable team member.

Ms Pople said her son loved the game and had often played with his mates when he was at school.

"On Tuesday and Thursday evenings Josh's support worker takes him to football training where Josh does the water during training and is on the field with the players and the coach," she said.

"Also every weekend he goes with Josh to the footy matches and any other social things such as a gathering or barbecue or drinks with the footy boys.

"On game day, Josh does his spiel to get the boys motivated. The boys love him, as he has been with the guys for many years."

When he isn't at footy, Pople works at a local printing company two days a week.

"Josh has a support worker go with him to work. Without the NDIS he wouldn't be able to go," Ms Pople said.

He is also considering studying for a Certificate IV in Sports and Recreation at TAFE to further his career in the sporting field.

Ms Pople said the NDIS had changed Pople's life.

"He went from a young man only accessing the community twice a week for four hours, or needing family to take him to things. Now he can do whatever he wants."