On the heels of the home World Cup in 2015 and in anticipation of the Women’s World Cup in Ireland in 2017, the popularity of rugby is continuing to grow.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is following a policy of inclusion, and Disability Rugby is one area of the game that is growing particularly quickly. In recent years, several rugby clubs have taken steps to introduce their own disabled teams alongside their mainstream sides.
More Clubs For Disabled Players
The RFU’s commitment has inspired several of the biggest local clubs, like Telford and Shrewsbury, to create their own facilities for disabled players. In conjunction with local partners, the body is encouraging people to come and try their hand at a sport they might previously have considered completely off limits.
Clubs like these use rugby drills from coaching sites such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/ that are specially adapted to suit those who have a physical handicap that might see them in a wheelchair or with visual impairment.
Shropshire has a disability network that incorporates the Shropshire Rebels, a specialist Tag Rugby charitable group that was set up to offer the chance to play a non-contact sport to young people with some kind of special need.
Growing Self Esteem
Any sport is meant to be fun, but there are other reasons for young people, able-bodied or not, to get involved in some form of sport. It helps build confidence, improve fitness, and grow a number of skills like teamwork that are beneficial both on and off the sports field.
Rugby and Tag Rugby are great ways of improving coordination, which can be great for self-esteem. It is also a good way to make new friends with a common interest.
There is also now a Rugby Sport for the Disabled Association (RSDA).
Game for All
Wheelchair rugby has grown in strength and is now a fully fledged Paralympic sport. It is a great strategic game, and it is getting mainstream support and coverage now. England Full Back Mike Brown was appointed the first Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Ambassador, and he continues to champion the sport.
Brown’s involvement will become increasingly important for maintaining the momentum built up over recent years. Check out your local club for ways to get involved.