The RFL are delighted to announce Nathan Mulhall, an England Wheelchair international who plays for Halifax Panthers, as an inaugural recipient of the Matt King Educational Bursary – an award which has been introduced in memory of the former London Broncos Academy player who became such an inspiration after suffering a life-changing spinal injury.

Mulhall, who is 23 and has cerebral palsy, works as an Additional Needs Specialist at Ryburn Valley High School in Sowerby Bridge, and has been awarded the inaugural Matt King Educational Bursary after an application in which he pledged to use his influence as a teacher to promote the positive impact of playing Rugby League, and especially to encourage others to take up Wheelchair Rugby League, regardless of their ability.

His award will be presented at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium today before the Betfred Challenge Cup Final. As Nathan is attending an England Wheelchair training weekend in Preston as part of the preparations for this autumn’s Rugby League World Cup, his mother, Ann Jackson, and sister, Georgia Mulhall have been invited to accept the award on his behalf.

The award is for £7,000 towards Nathan’s tuition fees to complete his teacher training. The remaining £3,000 of the £10,000 available annually through the bursary has been shared equally between two other strong applications. Lauren Chapman, who works as a sports therapist with Wakefield Trinity’s Women’s and Scholarship teams, has been awarded £1,500 to “upskill her medical qualifications.”

Taylor Prescott has been awarded the same sum to support his tuition fees and living expenses as he follows in the footsteps of his inspirational father raising funds for the Steve Prescott Foundation and the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.

Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “There could be no more uplifting start to Challenge Cup Final day. The introduction of the Matt King Educational Bursary, which has been made possible by the generous support of a private benefactor who is a truly unsung Rugby League hero, is a cause for celebration in itself, as it allows us to remember the remarkable, inspirational life of Matt King.

“To see three such outstanding young people as Nathan Mulhall, Lauren Chapman and Taylor Prescott receiving recognition and significant financial assistance as a lasting legacy of Matt is the sport of Rugby League at its very best.

“I have been privileged in my RFL role to spend time with Nathan and the rest of the England Wheelchair squad. They are an inspirational group, and watching them in the Rugby League World Cup promises to be one of the highlights of the year. “It is wonderful to hear Nathan’s determination to encourage others to share in the unique experiences and challenges of playing Wheelchair Rugby League.”

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