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Scott Burns

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Leigh Community Trust, in partnership with Leigh Leopards, has joined forces in a new initiative in Physical Disability and Learning Disability Rugby League.


It means that in 2022 Leigh Leopards will field teams representing the town in both PDRL and LDRL competitions under the guidance of Scott Burns, a key volunteer recruit to the Trust’s personnel who joins from Wigan Warriors.

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A Bit About Scott

Scott’s work with the Wigan Warriors Physical and Learning Disability teams was recognised at the 2020 UK Coaching Awards. He was recently appointed the Scotland PDRL Head Coach and won the prestigious Changing Lives Award for his inspiring contribution in championing inclusive sport to ensure everyone can take part and benefit from physical activity.

Scott, a father of four and a primary school teacher, told LCTV how his journey into disability sport was inspired by a life-changing personal event seven years ago. After suddenly losing the sight in his right eye following a neurological trauma, he started out on a new pathway.

“I’d played Rugby League since primary school and been fortunate enough to represent my town, county and country in the community game,” he said.

“That event ended my playing pathway but opened another, as a coach in disability sport. I had to change the way I did things and my day-to-day living, but I wanted to stay involved in Rugby League. Our friends at Warrington had been the first professional club to start a PDRL team through the work of Adam Hills and others and so I became involved in setting up a PD and LD team from scratch at Wigan."

“The rewards were unbelievable, watching how the team members developed as players as well as people. That’s why we are in this job. Rugby League, and sport in general, is just the vehicle to grow the individual and give them opportunities to thrive in society.”

A Bit About Tom

Tom started playing Rugby League at 9 years old. Playing for Ashton Bears and Wigan School Boys later represented Wigan RLFC and Lancashire. 

Tom gave up playing due to being diagnosed with Chrons disease. "I was in the Rugby league wilderness for many years, then a friend of mine asked if would I be interested in coaching at Golborne Parkside. I went down to the first session and loved it. I was hooked." Tom said.

Tom has been involved in setting up many junior teams and has overseen various roles at the club, starting as an assistant, progressing to head coach of teams, and even spending time on the board. 

"In 2018 I started work with Leigh Community Trust and saw first-hand the great work Hannah, Heather and the Team were doing in the community not only via Rugby channels but also through many community projects." So in 2021 when I was offered a chance to work with the PDRL and LDRL teams for the club, I jumped at the chance." 

Tom Simms

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Get Involved

Scott and Tom have built up the playing squads and are training and playing this season. Interested in joining the Leigh Leopards teams? Contact the Trust on the form above or email

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