MURDERBALL COMES TO CANBERRA
Wheelchair Sports NSW (WS NSW), formed in 1961, is a charitable organisation responsible for the development, promotion and delivery of wheelchair sport in NSW. Since 1961 WS NSW has offered sport to those in the community affected by spinal injury, spina bifida and similar
The WS NSW wheelchair rugby program involves athletes from all over NSW and the ACT. The athletes come together to train together throughout the year and engage in a state based competition the “Sydney Slam” from April – September.
WS NSW is extending its Sydney based competition to a nation-wide invitational weekend skirmish in Canberra. The 2018 Canberra Classic, supported by the Vikings Group, gives athletes, developing through to elite, the opportunity to compete in round robin competition over three days, Friday 9 – Sunday 11 March, 2018 at the Southern Cross Stadium, Tuggeranong.
The weekend encounter is designed to build game practice, skills and team experience. WS NSW views this level of competition as crucial for the pathway toward state and national representation. Mixed amongst the players this weekend will be Gold medal winning Paralympians, World Champions, Australian National Champions with first time players and young WS NSW Rookie of the Year Harry Clist (14 years old from Port Macquarie).
The overriding focus of the WS NSW wheelchair rugby program is the enjoyment of the athletes and their continued participation, however a major draw for most is the opportunity to participate within competitive sports and achieve representative honours.
Wheelchair rugby is an intense, physical team sport for male and female athletes with impairment in both upper and lower limbs. The sport can be very physical as athletes attempt to carry the ball over the opponent’s goal line. A wheelchair rugby ball is the size and shape of a volleyball and it can be carried, dribbled, or passed in any way except by kicking. The ball must be bounced at least once every 10 seconds and rugby is played in eight-minute quarters.
The players are classified according to their level of functional ability and are assigned a point value from 0.5 to 3.5 points – the higher the points, the more functional ability the athletes have. The four players on the court cannot exceed a combined total of 8 points.
Wheelchair Rugby is played globally and has been part of the Paralympic movement since 2000. Australia has a strong pedigree within the sport having medalled in 2000, 2008 and winning Gold at the 2012 London and 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Steelers, the national team and the elite program, is run by the Australian Paralympic Committee and is supported by a network of state based programs providing the next generation of “Aussie Steelers”.
For event enquiries contact:
Mark Wilson –Sports Development Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org 0420 278 901
For media enquiries, contact:
Kathleen Nicholls –Manager Sports Programs and Events
email@example.com 0402 205 914