Wheelchair users in the Fylde community can now try their hand at rugby, thanks to the launch of a new programme supported by local sports groups and businesses.
To celebrate the new Wheelchair Rugby Community Programme, supported by Wareing Buildings and J&M Cars, the Fylde Rugby Community Foundation recently delivered a commemorative launch event inviting wheelchair users from the area to try their hand at the sport and take part in a skills-based session.
The event was supported by West Coast Crash, an established wheelchair rugby team based out of Southport and Formby District General Hospital, who took on players from the Foundation in a thrilling game which further showcased the sport.
Wheelchair rugby sessions will now take place every Monday evening between 6:30pm and 8pm in the sports hall at AKS Lytham Independent School, delivered by the Fylde Rugby Community Foundation. The free classes, open to beginners and anyone with an interest in the sport, incorporate the learning of the fundamental skills of rugby and include fitness and fun game-based activities.
Ben Turner, Rugby Development Manager for the Foundation, is leading the Wheelchair Rugby Community Programme. He said: “Physically disabled people have many less activities available to them due to cost, specialist equipment requirements, transport, and physical access to name a few.
“Wheelchair rugby is a totally inclusive sport for both men and women, with a classification process which allows people with different types and degrees of disability to play one another. All that’s needed to get started is the ability to push your own chair around.
“It’s great that we have developed a wheelchair rugby club through the kind support provided by Wareing Buildings and J&M Cars to help break down barriers and give disabled participants an opportunity to take part in a physical sport whilst enjoying the social aspect of the game.”
Chris Wareing, director at Wareing Buildings, said: “Wheelchair sports are important to me on a personal level, as my wife is a wheelchair user having been injured in a horse riding incident years ago. It’s because of this experience that I understand the true value of investing in wheelchair-based activities, which is to ensure people with disabilities have the opportunity to take part in sports in the same way as anyone else.
“The Fylde Rugby Community Foundation is such an important beacon of the community, and several members of our team have trained with them as juniors or young adults. So, the combination of the two made it the perfect programme to invest our support, and we look forward to seeing how the sessions go on to positively impact the local community for years to come.”