A devoted dad is so determined to fulfil his son’s rugby-playing dream that he has founded a charity for children with learning disabilities in his honour.
Alex Whiteley is currently being screened for autism and is thought to have a form of epilepsy, as well as Auditory Processing Disorder (ADP), which means he cannot process things he hears because his brain and ears don’t fully co-ordinate.
The 10-year-old is a huge fan of the Wakefield Wildcats and the Parramatta Eels in Australia.
His dad Stuart used to play rugby for the Eastmoor Dragons and Alex is keen to follow in his footsteps.
But Alex’s learning disabilities means he finds it hard to grasp the skills without extra help.
Mr Whiteley, 34, joined forces with Dave Gibbons from Sports Centric UK to form support group RL4ALEX.
And they are currently on a mission to raise £5,000 needed to officially register it as a charity.
Mr Whiteley said: “Our aim is to support children like Alex so that they can eventually play for mainstream clubs by getting them the extra tuition and resources they need and putting support and guidance in place for clubs and coaches.
“It’s about empowering and enabling children of all abilities to be able to participate at whatever level possible without any prejudice, barriers or limitations.”
Wildcats forward and former Parramatta Eels player, Justin Poore, recently became ambassador of RL4ALEX to the family’s delight, and Alex was invited to be the Wildcats mascot when they played the Castleford Tigers on Sunday.
Mr Whiteley added: “It’s exciting times and it’s so nice that the club wants to be on board.”
The charityhelps both boys or girls.
Anyone who wants to find out more, thinks their child can benefit or wants to donate or get involved with fundraising, should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Rl4alex or @RL4ALEX