Rugby – ‘Fact File’ 2015 Scottish Disability Sport

Rugby – ‘Fact File’ 2015 Scottish Disability Sport

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[Pete Young] There are a number of opportunities
for people with a disability to play rugby, and what we’re looking to do is promote as
widely as we can. There’s wheelchair rugby, a couple of different forms of that, there’s
deaf rugby, and there’s rugby for people with learning disabilities.
[Jo Butterfield] I had a spinal cord injury in 2011 and it was when I was in the hospital
in rehab, a group of people came in and did a taster session of wheelchair rugby, and
I pretty much fell in love straight away. It’s the only full contact wheelchair sport
there is, and it’s pretty gruesome, in the fact that you’re encouraged to hit people
in wheelchairs. There’s not many other places that you’re kind of allowed to do that, and
actually told to do that, and it’s kind of part of the fun of the sport. It’s four people
on court at one time, basically trying to get from one side of the court to the other
side of the court, carrying the ball. Predominantly aimed at people who have a limitation in their
lower body and their upper body, and it is to make it inclusive for everybody.
[Graeme Stewart] I am Graeme Stewart and I play for Glasgow Panthers, and I am also the
captain of the Scotland Wheelchair Rugby League squad. Wheelchair Rugby League is the exact
same as running rugby league, the exact same rules, the only difference is that when
you’re kicking it you use your fist to punch. All the other rules are exactly the same and
it’s a sport for anybody. Able-bodied can play it, if you’ve had an injury at your rugby
club, jump in a wheelchair and come and play wheelchair rugby league. There’s a certain
amount of rough and tumble to it, and that’s the love of it for me, there’s no holds barred
in this wheelchair rugby league. Also cardiovascular, it’s 80 minutes non-stop, back and forward,
best cardiovascular I’ve ever had. [Adam Mould] My name’s Adam Mould, I run Glasgow
Panthers in connection with Glasgow East End Rugby. We’re now starting, well basically
the first wheelchair sevens club in Scotland. It’s a division of the running game, same
rules apply, scrums, running man on, lane in, lane out, it’s exactly the same rules, the only difference
is it’s for wheelchairs. The good thing about sevens is that it’s fully inclusive, you don’t
have to be disabled, age doesn’t matter, sex doesn’t matter, just jump into a chair and
strap in and play the game. [Jamie Armstrong] Unified rugby is where disabled
and non-disabled athletes and players play and train in the one squad. It’s non-contested
scrums, and for those who might now know what that is it’s where you go to a scrum but you’re
not allowed to push, so it’s non-contested, and the other one is our more vulnerable players
– we’ve come up with the safety system of having a red scrum cap, which allows your
other non-disabled players on the other side to identify very easily how they can go into
contact with that person. [Pete Young] So Scottish Rugby, in connection
with Scottish Disability Sport, are looking to open up more opportunities for people with
disabilities, partly through promoting the current opportunities and also through that,
looking to develop new clubs in areas where there currently aren’t opportunities for people
to play. There’s also information out on the Scottish Disability Sport and Scottish Rugby
websites that give you all the contact details of all the people to speak to to find out what
your local opportunities are. [Jo Butterfield] There are lots of different
variations for everybody and that’s what makes it great. So whether you have all four limbs
affected, or less so with legs or arms, different types of rugby you can play but the gist is
sport makes a huge difference to your life. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t done
sport in rehab and to be able to do something, no matter what your disability is, just get
out and give it a go.

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