Students at Ellesmere College in Leicester have been trying out wheelchair rugby with help from Leicester Tigers’ community coaches and the Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby (LTWR) team.
As part of the club’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) programme, around 300 pupils took part in a number of sessions to try out the sport for the first time, under the guidance of Tigers’ community coaching team.
And the students had a taste of the real thing as they sampled the chairs used by LTWR in their second successive league-winning season, having retained their Super Series Division One title earlier this year.
Ellesmere pupils used the opportunity to get to grips with the basics of the sport, including manoeuvrability, passing and tackling.
Gary Ayres is a SEND rugby development officer at Leicester Tigers, and delivered the sessions as part of Ellesmere College’s enterprise day.
“Wheelchair rugby is a Paralympic sport that allows disabled or able-bodied athletes to participate in a variant of the game of rugby, and here at Ellesmere College we’ve given the opportunity to around 300 hundred students to participate in a taster session,” he said.
“We’ve been showing students how to use the chairs, how to have a go at pushing themselves safely, and also trying to throw the ball around to see if we can start playing a bit of wheelchair rugby.
“This would not have been possible without the support of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR), Lord’s Taverners and the Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby team, who have kindly donated the use of their chairs.”
If you’d like to find out more about wheelchair rugby, are looking to introduce a new sport to your school, or would like to get involved in Tigers SEND programmes, contact Gary by emailing [email protected] or use the link below.