TIRF and Variety Village Collaborating on Wheelchair Rugby

By: Fuad Ali, TIRF Rugby Development Intern

Rookie Rugby as a project has enormous potential for impacting thousands of kids’ lives throughout Toronto. But what about those who cannot participate in the sport due to circumstances beyond their control? This is the question 8 TIRF interns were presented with today at their wheelchair rugby session.

In collaboration with Variety Village and their centre for all abilities, these interns participated in a demonstration of wheelchair rugby. Previously called “murderball”, the sport can seem intimidating to beginners. Played with specially modified wheel chairs covered in metal, hurtling towards each other at high speeds, it is easy to see why one may be initially apprehensive about participating in wheelchair rugby. However, just as the rookie rugby program is adapted for a specific target audience featuring a non-contact version of the sport, so too was our session of wheelchair rugby. Non-contact games were played, including the popular games flag tag and ultimate rugby. TIRF intern Matthew Sneath is working on plans that will ensure that our entire TIRF curriculum caters to people of all abilities, regardless of mobility or mental prowess. Eventually, TIRF hopes that the sport of rugby can be enjoyed by everyone.

Youth Rugby Development Intern Angela Du had this to say about her experience: “I feel like we are taking a great step in the rugby community, by adapting it for all types of bodies. This is what rugby is about.”

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