Sport

Plymouth hosts first wheelchair rugby tournament in the South West

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wheelchair rugby

Plymouth is to see the first ever Wheelchair Rugby tournament in the South West, hosted by the West Country Hawks.

The West Country Hawks are the first, (and only) Wheelchair Rugby club in the South West, drawing players from all over Devon & Cornwall. They train at the Life Centre, Plymouth, every Monday night 6pm-7pm.

This fascinating game is another fine example of how the Olympics have kicked such sports into the public imagination, with more teams, players and matches being set up all over the country.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 2 in the Main Hall at Plymouth’s Life Centre from 3.30pm and feature the West Country Hawks taking on players from the Cardiff Pirates and the London 2012 squad (including GB Captain Steve Brown; Ross Morrison and David Anthony).

The afternoon will be action packed and is free to all who want to come along and watch.

Wheelchair Rugby was one of the major highlights of the London 2012 Paralympics, with players regularly hitting the front pages of the national newspapers, and David Pond, CEO GBWR, feels 2013 will be just as exciting.

“With the good news of our successful funding from UK Sport and Sport England, as well as our continued support from the Lottery, I believe we now have a great opportunity to build something pretty special over the next cycle,” he said.

A terrifying fusion of ice hockey, handball and rugby, the game was founded in Canada in 1977 and was originally dubbed ‘Murderball’. It’s not just about brute force though – tactically it’s a very intelligent game to be involved in. Eight rolling substitutes make up squads of 12, with four players on court per team at any time. The aim is to thunder across your opponents’ goal line with two wheels in contact with the hardwood floor and the ball in your hands. Players in possession have to bounce the ball or pass with within 10 seconds of receiving it.

The Hawks are sponsored by Considered Business Solutions who have made it possible for the team to have a brand new kit. They are now saving up for two new specialist rugby wheelchairs as each one costs over £3,000 and they currently have fewer chairs than members. Any potential sponsors or fundraisers out there are asked to get in touch.

If you enjoyed watching the Wheelchair Rugby at the London Paralympics then this is a great opportunity to see it live.

The tournament is on Saturday, February 2 from 3pm-7pm in the main hall of the LIFE Centre.

For further information check out Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby’s website.

 

(from a press release)

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