The Henry Surtees Foundation has donated £16,500 to fund the purchase of custom made, specialised sport wheelchairs for three wheelchair rugby clubs who are participating in the RIO Paralympics in the GB squad. London Wheelchair Rugby Club, Ospreys Wheelchair Rugby Club in South Wales and West Coast Crash located in the Midlands. This is a welcome addition to the existing team’s chairs for all the Clubs who have benefited from this generous grant from the Henry Surtees Foundation.
Playing rugby is an exhilarating sport whether in or out of a wheelchair. Certainly it is not a sport that many of us think of undertaken from a wheelchair; however this is becoming a very popular sport amongst wheelchair sportsmen and women, since its inception in the early 1980s. Most of the team players would agree that taking part in a wheelchair rugby game – which is such a physical challenge to most, and often enables them to forget they are disabled.
According to Steven Palmer, LWRC Chairman “Some of the wheelchairs are bought and purpose built for the individuals, we have just ordered 6 new chairs for all the members on our teams that also play for the GB squad and will be heading to the Paralympics this year in Rio. The mechanic is also able to adapt the 10 development chairs that we have so that when people who attend our taster sessions or just want to have a go for fun, they can be adapted to suit the player’s needs. In total they have about 30 chairs as each player has their own wheelchair; we have 3-4 loan chairs and 10 development chairs. We are incredibly grateful to the Henry Surtees Foundation for this generous donation which will enable one of our disabled club members to participate in the sport”.
London Wheelchair Rugby Club is a premiership wheelchair rugby club champion, national league champion and 4 times European club champion. It provides opportunities for disabled people for social interaction, sports and up to Paralympic level with its diverse range of players.
Ospreys Wheelchair Rugby Club was established in 1989 by Keith Jones and Paul Jenkins who wanted to establish sporting and rehabilitation opportunities for people with a disability. According to Ospreys it doesn’t matter the age of the player or the ability or disability the Club welcomes new players and say that playing wheelchair rugby aids rehabilitation, increases self-confidence and enables the player to lead a more active and social life.
West Coast Crash Wheelchair Rugby Club enables its members to gain assistance with rehabilitation, improve abilities and skills, self-confidence and increase health and fitness. Playing wheelchair rugby also has added benefits of helping to manage weight and the opportunity to travel and make new friends.
Wheelchair rugby is the only full contact wheelchair sport out of 14 Paralympics sports and is generally played by men and women over 16 who have spinal cord injury or physical disability or upper limb disability. For more information on these teams take a look at:-