Canada's National Rugby tournament

Posted by Ralph | 6:00 PM

"The second test event in preparation for the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships takes place this weekend at Olympic Oval.

The 2009 Coloplast Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championships gets underway today as our country's top wheelchair rugby athletes will battle it out for provincial supremacy, and then put their national team "hats" on to begin training for the 2010 WWRC which also will take place at the Oval.

New to the national team this year is head coach, Kevin Orr, who coached the U.S. to a silver medal at the 2002 World Championships and bronze at the 2004 Athens Paralympics.

"Canada was within one goal of the gold medal game in Beijing," said Orr.

"There is a lot of experience here. There are athletes who have attended three Paralympic Games and one that has four under his belt. It's neat to see some of the up and coming talent mixed with the veterans."

The coaching staff will use the training camp to institute new systems that the team will follow over the next year-and-a-half.

Tournaments in Great Britain this August and Argentina in October will test those systems on their journey to the 2010 WWRC.

"We have fantastic team speed and we're very physical," continued Orr. "We have a very good future ahead of us."

During the Coloplast Nationals, which got underway this morning, all teams will play in one, single round robin format with the first through fourth place teams playing for the Division 1 Campbell Cup and the fifth through eighth place finishers battling for the Division 2 Zbieranowski Cup.

The Campbell Cup is named after the sport's co-founder, Duncan Campbell, now a resident of BC, and a player/ coach on the B.C. - C team at the Championships.

Wheelchair rugby is a sport for athletes with a disability in at least three limbs, with mechanics and rules borrowed from team handball, ice hockey and basketball.

Wheelchair rugby is the only full contact sport played by athletes with a disability.
Called "Murderball" by the five Canadians from Winnipeg who developed it, the sport first captured the fascination of the public when it was the subject of the 2005 film by the same name.

Wheelchair rugby was designated as a Canadian Heritage Sport in 2008 -- one of only six sports within the Canadian sport system with that designation, and the only sport for athletes with a disability to receive this distinction.

Wheelchair rugby gained full medal status at the Sydney Paralympic Games and was a fan favourite from that point on to the Beijing Games in 2008.

B.C. will play host to the world's 12 top ranked wheelchair rugby teams as over 400 athletes, coaches, officials, delegates and volunteers converge on the Richmond Olympic Oval in Sept. 2010. It will be the first international event at the Oval following the 2010 Olympics.

The Coloplast Nationals is hosted by B.C. Wheelchair Sports Association (BCWSA), a non-profit organization devoted to providing opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities.

Games are scheduled all day Friday and Sunday. The playoff round starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday and concludes with the Division One final at 2:15 p.m."


Stumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo