Wheelchair Rugby And Its Impact On Sports

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This case study will to examine wheelchair rugby, and how Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Limited organises play, qualifications, the specialist equipment used in the sport, as well as the development of the sport with in the UK. This is due to the author’s ability to rugby and interest in how rugby has been developed into a disability sport.
Wheelchair rugby, formally known as Murderball, was developed in Canada in 1977 by quadriplegic athletes (International Wheelchair Rugby Federation, 2014). Quadriplegia is more commonly known as tetraplegia, this is where all four limbs are paralysed and most commonly as a result of a neck injury (Disabled World, 2010) Wheelchair Rugby was created as an adaptation of wheelchair basketball, by reducing the amount of hand and arm actions to make the game inclusive for quadriplegic athletes; this was done by removing dribbling. Athletes were classified on their medical diagnosis, in relation to the level of their spinal injury. In 1991 this was changed to a functional classification specific to wheelchair rugby, in order to include those with polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and amputations. According to Sport England (2010) 68% of wheelchair rugby participants have a spinal cord injury, compared 6% with cerebral palsy and 4% with muscular dystrophy. It’s also estimated that 40,000 people are living with a spinal cord injury in the UK (The Backup Trust, 2014). Rugby is one of 11 out of the 23 Paralympic sports

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