In 2020 Suncoast Spinners Wheelchair Basketball Inc hosted a series of Come & Try rugby sessions to gauge local interest. These were successful and through social inclusion funding Suncoast Spinners is excited to advise the launch of a wheelchair rugby program in 2021.
As an organisation Suncoast Spinners is committed to increasing inclusive sporting opportunities for people with a disability in our region. We’ve had previous success in doing so through Wheelchair Basketball. The opportunity to expand to Wheelchair Rugby enables even greater participation options for people with all levels of ability in our region.
President Bridie Kean spoke with Sunshine Coast media and noted “it’s been a really isolating time for so many people during this pandemic. This grant is going to open up avenues to play sport for people on the Sunshine Coast who have otherwise had no options at all to play sport. We are excited to be able to return to sport as it becomes safe to do so and offer avenues for people of all abilities to reap the social and physical benefits participating in team sport has.”
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and community-based group sport and physical activity resumes, Suncoast Spinners will deliver the Rugby Program commencing early 2021 with grant funding allowing the program to run through to December 2022.
The grant funding will pay for five new specialist wheelchair rugby chairs, venue hire, marketing and administration of the Program for two years.
Ryan Scott, former Captain and dual Paralympic Gold Medalist to the Australia Wheelchair Rugby Team The Steelers approached Suncoast Spinners to help develop the Rugby Program on the Sunshine Coast.
Ryan is passionate to develop a wheelchair Rugby Program on the Sunshine Coast for people in our community with Quadriplegia to participate through free Come & Try days.
People with quadriplegia generally can not partake in other wheelchair sports such as wheelchair basketball. Wheelchair Rugby was created specifically for people with quadriplegia and for many is the only wheelchair sporting opportunity. People seeking a quadriplegic sport are currently required to travel to Brisbane (over an hours drive each way). For the majority of participants with quadriplegia this is not achievable.
Providing a local program will ensure all people with disability have free and accessible sporting opportunities.