Reading Rugby Club has brought wheelchair to the community in Berkshire by working together with a couple of other rugby clubs: Reading Abbey Rugby Club, Redingensians Rams, Get Berkshire Active and GB Wheelchair rugby.
The Reading Rugby Club has already been planning this new project for over a year and did everything they could to make it happen. As seen above, the club has connected with other rugby clubs and worked together with them for a better service to the community. They have had many great outcomes, but also faced some obstacles. The first and biggest obstacle is still the one of funding. Although some funding helped to reach to this point, Berkshire Wheelchair Rugby Club still needs support.
They have received a grant from Get Berkshire Active, a great deal of support from the national governing body, GBWR, and the club intends to apply for a sponsorship from Sport England. All the support they can receive is an enormous aid for this useful and ambitious step for wheelchair rugby. Berkshire-based businesses can also involve for additional sponsorship in order to help the Club purchase the specialist wheelchairs, cover the costs of a few professional coaches and hire future coaches for the training sessions held in the facility.
This is an important improvement in the rugby community because it helps all the people who want to have an active life but have a disability, involve in a sport. This is a fascinating project to bring this new format of rugby in Berkshire.
In February and March 2017 the Berkshire Banshees, the new wheelchair rugby club based in Berkshire successfully held a number of taster sessions, one being part of the Wokingham Disability Festival. People with a disability aged 16 or older joined the club as new players. Boys and girls, men and women who have a disability and would like to join the club are still expected to show up at the club for recruitment.
The wheelchair rugby players have some loss of function in their limbs, spinal cord injuries, amputations neurological disorders or other medical conditions. But this doesn’t stop sports passionate people to involve or become part of a rugby team.
Wheelchair rugby is a mixed gender sport practiced in over 25 countries around the world. It is a high performance sport and a Paralympic sport. Although men have dominated the rosters, this should not discourage women from playing the sport.