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What is wheelchair rugby?
Around the Academy:

Great Britain skipper Bob O'Shea in action at Sydney Paralympics
Wheelchair rugby now has full Paralympic status

Wheelchair rugby has gone from being a chaotic sport they once called murderball to having full Paralympic status.

We asked GB team manager Paul Davies to explain why players get such a buzz out of it.


It's a real in your face sport.

Somebody once said wheelchair rugby is chess with violence - and that sums it up really.

I've represented Wales at several sports, but nothing can beat the buzz you get playing wheelchair rugby.

I took up wheelchair rugby in 1988.

Two players challenge for the ball
Expect a few bruises playing wheelchair rugby

I joined my local side, Cardiff Pirates, after going along to watch an exhibition match.

A decade later, after a successful international career, I stopped playing in order to take charge of the GB team at the Sydney Olympics.

Leading the team out onto the track at the opening ceremony was the highlight of my career.

It was an awesome experience.

There were thousands upon thousands of people cheering us on and flashbulbs going off everywhere.

I've played bowls for Great Britain and Wales and done some track and some table tennis but with wheelchair rugby there's a lot more camaraderie.

There's a lot of team bonding. I've travelled the world playing. You make a lot of good friends and that friendship stays with you forever.

Not only that but it keeps you fit, you get excitement, you get enjoyment. It's all there!


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Wheelchair rugby is chess with violence
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GB team manager Paul Davies
Paul Davies
GB manager


Wheelchair rugby factfile
First played in in Canada during the late 1980s by people who had neck injuries but who couldn't play basketball because they couldn't shoot
Now the world's fastest growing wheelchair sport.
Only team game for tetraplegics, or those with an upper limb impairment
Originally based on a variety of sports including rugby, volleyball, basketball and ice hockey.
No body contact is allowed but there's plenty of wheelchair contact
Players use specialist chairs - some have impact bars fitted



INTERNET LINKS >>
:: Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Association
:: Welsh Wheelchair Rugby Association

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