A bit more about the game…
Wheelchair Rugby was invented in 1977 in Canada by a group of tetraplegic wheelchair basketball players who were tired of losing out on court time to their more functional team mates. Clearly many others felt the same as the sport quickly grew in popularity and spread to the USA. The sport landed in the UK in the early 1980s, when the States team flew over to give an exhibition at Stoke Mandeville. Soon after our first three clubs were established and there are now more than 30 teams up and down the UK. Due to the hard-hitting nature of the game, the sport was nicknamed ‘Murderball’ and Great Britain are the current Paralympic gold medalists from Tokyo.
Cheltenham Tigers hosted four well-attended introductory sessions which covered the basic skills needs to play in addition to lots of game play. The sessions were attended by people with any physical impairment from Cheltenham and the surrounding areas and included new players to the sport and two local players who are currently representing great Britain’s talent team, with the aim of making the Paralympics in 2028. The team train very Thursday evening at Balcarras School and will be competing in the national leagues from April.
The aim for the team is to have two teams competing in the national divisions, working towards the end goal of competing in the Premiership. The team also hopes to have players represent Great Britain at the Paralympic games in the future.
On Thursday 23rd November we were delighted to welcome Cheltenham MP, Alex Chalk, to one of our Wheelchair Rugby sessions at Balcarras School. Also in attendance were Club President Jill Douglas and Club Chairman Steve Ratcliffe, along with some representatives from GBWR.
Alex, Jill and Steve observed training drills and game play, before speaking to the players to gain a further understanding of the game and find out more about the players.
The team at Cheltenham Tigers have been up and running for nearly two months and numbers have grown to an incredible 12 playing members. The team hosts weekly training session, every Thursday from 6pm until 8pm, along with regular social events. People with any physical disability can play, and the team are looking to enter the national leagues in the upcoming summer.
We are always keen to welcome new people looking to give the sport a try, please email email@example.com to register your interest or to find out more information!