Wheelchairs at the ready: Murderball is coming to Oldbury

David Anthony and Mike Kerr battle it out playing murderball

David Anthony and Mike Kerr battle it out playing murderball

First published in Black Country News

MURDERBALL is coming to Oldbury and residents are invited to participate in one of the most exciting sports in the world.

Wheelchair rugby, also known as murderball, was a massive hit at the London 2012 Paralympics with the sport attracting record crowds and huge viewing figures on television.

Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby will be holding taster sessions at The Portway Lifestyle Centre this month and February.

Kirsty Clarke, GBWR's national development director, is urging local sports lovers to attend the sessions.

She said: "Our aim is to get more people than ever before playing wheelchair rugby on a regular basis. We have different levels of the game aimed to suit a whole range of disabilities.

"We're aiming to put a smile on your face, as you whizz, whack and hurl your way across the court."

She added: "The sessions are an opportunity for both men and women (16 and over), with any kind of disability to get involved and have a go.

"There are also opportunities for able bodied people to come along to support and coach."

Wheelchair rugby started in Canada in the 1970s and took hold in the UK in the 1980s after the USA team played an exhibition in Stoke Mandeville.

The game first appeared at the World Wheelchair Games in 1990 as an exhibition event and made its Paralympic Games debut in Atlanta in 1996.

There are now ten clubs across the country playing the sport and GBWR are hoping to generate interest by allowing more people to participate.

A spokesman for GBWR said: "If you have upper and lower limb disabilities and a thirst for action, then maybe it’s about time you gave wheelchair rugby a shot.

"There are loads of opportunities to play your part on the sidelines too as we need coaches, officials and people who can give us a hand in our clubs across the UK."

The sessions are at the Portway Lifestyle Centre, from 4pm to 6pm, every Monday in January and Monday, February 3.

For more information visit www.gbwr.org.uk.

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