A new spin on rugby

Wheelchair event gets
donations for food bank
Sunday, November 23, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:41 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The name has changed throughout the years, but the rules haven’t. What began as “murderball” is now the fastest-growing wheelchair sport: wheelchair rugby.

Columbia’s first Wheelchair Rugby Hit Hunger Day was held Saturday at Wilson’s Total Fitness. Those who attended were asked to bring a nonperishable food item or cash donation. The proceeds benefited the Central Missouri Food Bank.

Kevin Brown, the team member who organized the event, said the event’s purpose was to support the food bank and to raise awareness of the sport.

“Wheelchair rugby is a fun sport that benefits everyone who plays,” Brown said.

Team member Mike Norris has been playing the sport for about three years. He said wheelchair sports are a good way to help people with spinal cord injuries make the transition back into society. Norris had been in the U.S. Army and was used to a very active life before his injury.

“Wheelchair sports let me remain active and still compete,” Norris said. “Plus, it makes you less self-conscious and gives you more confidence when you’re out in your wheelchair.”

Between scrimmages, members of the audience were given the chance to participate in wheelchair activities.

MU rugby player Katie Jacobson, 21, said she found wheelchair rugby very different from the sport she’s used to. She said it wasn’t quite as easy as she thought it would be.

Jacobson received an award for being the first person who doesn’t normally use a wheelchair to tip over a cone while weaving in and out of other cones.

“I’ve had some experience with wheelchairs because I’m an occupational therapy major,” Jacobson said. “I thought I had it in the bag, but I was wrong.”

The wheelchair rugby team met through the St. Louis Wheelchair Athletic Association, and they have been competing together ever since. There are eight members from central Missouri.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.