First Wheelchair Rugby National Tournament is going to be held in Patna

2017 Societe Generale Wheelchair Rugby National Championship is going to be held in Patliputra Sports complex, Kankarbagh, Patna. The tournament will start on 11th August at 3PM and will end after final match which will be played at 4PM on August 12th followed by a closing ceremony.

 

It is the first time any Wheelchair Rugby National Tournament is going to be organized in India. 8 states team – UP, New Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra are participating in this tournament. Each team containing 8 members; six players and two officials.

 

According to Indian Wheelchair Rugby captain Nikhil Kumar Gupta, who is also the Secretary General of Wheelchair Rugby Federation of India(WRFI), the event will be aimed at awareness of spinal cord injury. It will be promoting Wheelchair Rugby in India with the aim to find and select best players for team India as well.

The event will be organized by WRFI in Association with Indian Rugby Football Union (Rugby India). Rugby India itself will be sponsoring the event. WRFI has also conducted several “SCI Awareness” & “Wheelchair Rugby” camps in places like Delhi\NCR, PRC Mohali, Mumbai and Patna (Bihar) successfully.

 

Match schedule has already been announced by WRFI. The players will get participation certificates. Winning prize which is yet to be decided will be confirmed by August 10th, says Nikhil Kumar Gupta.

 

Wheelchair Rugby was invented in 1977 in Winnipeg, Canada. It was introduced in India in 2009 during IWAS Tournament in Bangalore where a team India played against Team Brazil. To be eligible to play Wheelchair Rugby, individuals must be a quadriplegic i.e., person having disability which affects both the arms and legs. In this game maximum 4 players from each side compete with each other with the aim to carry the ball across the opposing teams goal line. This game is very aggressive and involves contact between wheelchairs as it is integral part of game to block and hold the opponents.

 

Currently there are 100+ Wheelchair Rugby players all over India who are practicing in this game for more than 2 years at city level.

Indian team has also participated in international tournaments which were self-funded as they are still struggling to get affiliation with Paralympic committee so that they can get help from PCI for funding and other facilities. There is no sports wheelchair available as it costs fortune, so players will be playing on their regular wheelchairs in this event.

 

This is a very commendable step by WRFI. These type of events should be encouraged by us as this is a great step towards empowering people with disability who are equally the part of our society. You’ll get to learn many things and the common misconception about disabled people that they are good for nothing and can achieve nothing in their life will shatter. Most importantly, these people can motive you too, maybe? So join the tournament on 11th August and cheer for our players.

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