GIO Wheelchair Rugby Championships
Disability Sports Australia
Homebush Sports Centre, Australia
25/10/2014 15:15 AEST
3:30pm - BRONZE MEDAL
5:00 pm - CELEBRITY MATCH
6:00pm - GOLD MEDAL MATCH
When the reverberation of two gladiators smashing into one another cracks through your eardrums with sheer force and determination, you know you’re about to see an epic fight. This is wheelchair rugby. This October, Fierce 4 Rugby Nationals – Australia’s elite national competition – will be taking place with the generous support of its major sponsor, GIO, at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre. Six state teams (including one from NZ) will battle it out for the first place trophy as Australia’s National Champs.
This year is especially unique as several of the competing athletes will rock up for the first time as world champions! In early August this year, the Australian Steelers, including NSW star athlete, Ryley Batt OAM, traveled to Odense, Denmark to compete against the best wheelchair rugby players in the world. They succeeded in returning as the World Champions, outplaying Canada in the finals – the country in which wheelchair rugby (then called Murderball) was founded in 1976.
If you don’t know much about wheelchair rugby, it’s okay. You won’t be short on finding videos on YouTube featuring the smashing, bashing and slamming of those custom made wheelchairs sparkling with dents from hit after hit. There is even a captivating documentary aptly titled “Murderball”. It’s the only game quadriplegics, or “quads”, can play. Each team has 4 players on court (hence, Fierce “4”) with a maximum point value of 8.0 combined. Players range in classification from 0.5 to the highest level of mobility at 3.5. The game is a cross between basketball, ice hockey and bit of Mad Max! There are four quarters, each eight minutes in length. It’s strategic as much as it is confronting. And it’s incredibly fun to watch live.
In between the Bronze and Gold medal matches, you can enjoy the annual Celebrity Match with the likes of Nathan Sharpe, Fierce 4 Rugby’s 2014 Ambassador and former ARU Wallabies Captain who will have a go with other local celebrities.
Don't miss one of the most thrilling sports on offer!