With the new academic year starting, many people like to pick up a new sport to find fitness and fun. One sport not everyone may think of becoming a part of is wheelchair rugby. I was lucky enough to have a chat with Brighton Buccaneers chairman James Morrison to talk about the sport, team GB’s success and the Buccaneers upcoming open day.
What is wheelchair rugby?
It’s quite unique as a sport. It’s essentially like rugby you have to score over the opposition’s touchline. It’s quite a tactical game and involves a lot of blocking and quick manoeuvres in the chairs. It’s quite fast paced and a lot of fun to play.
What are the positives you can take away from playing wheelchair rugby?
I’d say it’s great for fitness as it helps build up a lot of strength as there’s a lot of contact in the chairs. It’s also just a lot of fun and a lot of our members join and love bashing into one another. Another thing is it teaches you a greater understanding of tactics because you have to be quite tactical.
How are the team currently doing in their competitions?
As a club we train every Sunday morning and we play games three weekends a year and, in those weekends, we play 3-4 games. We currently play in the third division which is the lowest one so we are obviously aiming for promotion to a higher division. Last weekend we had our first round of fixture and had 1 win and 2 losses, it was really good fun and was great to play with the new players.
What was it like seeing Great Britain win gold at Tokyo 2020?
It was brilliant because the country has been working towards it for so long so to seem them go out there and get gold was amazing. Some of our members definitely have started to train a bit harder after watching their success and want to play more, we even had a couple previous members get back into the club after watching the Paralympics. There’s also been a lot of interest from new members have the team’s success which is great to see.
The club has a taster session soon, when is it and who can come?
It is on Sunday the 10th of October from 11 till 1 and is opened to all disabled people. Wheelchair rugby has two versions of the game, the one that you see in the Paralympic and one that’s much more open to people of all different classes of disabilities. So as a club we look for people who are 16 to 18 upwards and it doesn’t matter about your background or your abilities sports wise as we’re a very fun and inclusive club and want to get as many disabled people involved in sport as possible.
And for those interested, where would they go and what would they need to bring?
It is at the University of Brighton sports centre in Falmer which is right next to the Amex stadium. You don’t need to bring anything with you as we provide the chairs you’d need and we also have things like gloves and tape if anyone would want to use that. All people need to do is bring themselves.