Leagueability: Ep 2 – When the Titans come to town

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It’s a big day at the home ground of the
Ballina Seagulls. My name is Renee Cohen. I’m the community and game development manager of the Gold Coast Titans. So we have a very exciting announcement today and it’s so wonderful to see all of our players in the front here in their Titans jerseys. Terry Litton has partnered with FSG, a government-funded local company that
provides services to people with disabilities. Together, they’ve inspired
the Gold Coast Titans to adopt their team. Officially, we will be known as the Gold Coast Titans Physical Disability Rugby League Team. This news is a huge coup. The backing of a national
disability service provider will deliver all the logistics and financial support
the team needs and the Titans brand has made these young men instant celebrities. But just weeks later, the plan came
crashing down. Terry, Anno wants to ask you what
position will he be? Anno’s going to be centre, number three. And you’re number four, yep. Anno Pitt never thought he’d end up playing for the Gold Coast Titans, even though he’s been a huge fan all his life. One of the Titans legends, Tyrone
Roberts, is Anno’s close mate. He’s got a signed jersey from Tyrone
Roberts. Ty. Yep, Ty’s in his life all the time so
it’s good. He really looks up to Anno and Anno looks up to him and
that’s one of Anno’s idols. Brother. Brother and Ty went to school down in Newcastle
at the hostel so they’ve been best mates ever since. At seven months old
Anno was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a complication of being born with the umbilical
cord wrapped around his neck. Then, when he was 10, Anno went under the knife for
a series of corrective surgeries. His leg muscles were stretched, wires
were inserted to straighten his feet. There’s a plate in his hip and eight
plates in his knees. But it’s not stopping him, he’s doing everything. Mowing, go and play golf, he does push-ups, running, yep. Keep going to training every Wednesday night. All his life he’s liked to play football. More. Yeah, all his life. I remembered going to the
clubs and just saying, ‘Can Anno play?’ It was always
no and then you look at his face and it was just really disappointed. But no one would give him a go, you know? He can play footy. And then for Terry
and him to turn around and fix all this up for him.
It’s a big, big deal and someone’s finally given him an opportunity to go
and play, fulfill his dreams. This is the start of his life now. Titans. Yep, Titans
and how the Titans have taken them on board. And I’m proud of him. Just three weeks after its official
launch the team receives a major blow. The disability service provider FSG will
enter voluntary administration. Offices from Ballina to Harvey Bay would be
closed down. Our major backer, FSG the NDIS provider, is in a bit of
trouble and they folded and they’re going into liquidation so things are a
bit scary at the moment. I’m not sure what will happen, I’d hate to think of it
that it can’t go ahead because there’s too many people relying on me. All the
team, all the footballers, all the boys, their families. I can’t do it on my own, no,
unless I get help I can’t do it. But today the worry has been put on hold
because the boys are to be the special guests of the Gold Coast Titans at
their match against the New Zealand Warriors. It is the first time Liam Hourigan has
ever been to a live game. Liam is a big Queensland Cowboys fan but
has never played rugby league. After a month of training he thinks he’s got
what it takes. The secret I’ve probably got, is probably my speed. So I scored three tries Wednesday. Yep, I left everyone for dead. My disability is that I can’t really listen properly. I’ve only got half
a brain that’s communicating properly and the other half’s not working at all. I’ve got a
really bad brain injury. Despite his loyalty to the Cowboys, Liam can’t wait to play his first game for the Titans. To actually play the
first game’s going to be amazing. I’m going to love playing my first game. Like, I just can’t
wait to get the jersey on and represent the Titans with as much pride as we can. If you lose, at least we get a
good score, maybe 20 points on debut, I’ll be happy. So we can get a try in our
first match, we hope. We’re nearly there so remember who you
represent. You’re representing your families and the Titans, so be on your
best behavior. The Gold Coast Titans have big plans for
their physical disability team today. Terry gets a pre-match spot in the
stadium’s big screen. Our team are to be the guard of honor of the Titans as they run out to face the Warriors. And Anno, who celebrated his 20th birthday this week,
gets the best present ever. The Titans are not the favourite for this
match. They’re on a three-game losing slide. But today, their form is looking good. Their physical disability team might
just be the inspiration they need. The Titans go on to have their biggest
win of the season, beating the Warriors 36 to 20. Probably going to the Titans, Warriors match was the best time I’ve had. And meeting some of the players at the end of the game was amazing. I had the time of my life. Next episode, we meet a man who was a
champion bodybuilder until the day a taxi hit his motorcycle, head-on. We meet
a new teammate, Warrior, who finds his groove on and off the field.
And we join Terry on his ongoing mission to get his team a real game.

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