LONDON’S STORM WIN THE INAURGURAL BT WHEELCHAIR RUGBY NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015
London Wheelchair Rugby Club Storm has won the BT Wheelchair Rugby National Championships at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Park. The event was the first in a three year partnership between Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) and BT, a long-term supporter of disability sport in the UK, and saw over a thousand spectators turning up to watch the action.
Most Valued Player award went to Ayaz Bhuta from Southport’s West Coast Crash, but it was Storm that grabbed the top spot ahead of the Kent Crusaders, with West Coast Crash in third place and new squad Canterbury winning the second division BT Challenge Shield. BT’s Suzy Christopher presented the winners with their prizes, as well as awards to Dave Goddard from Storm who won the award for best player in his class (0.5); whilst Ryan Cowling won 1.0; Coral Batey 1.5; former GB Captain, Steve Brown 2.0; Mandip Sehmi 2.5 and Jim Roberts the 3/3.5 class.
David Pond, chief executive of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) said: “The fact that we had 16 teams playing in our national championships this year is testament to the success of the London 2012 legacy and the continuing investment by the Lottery and Sport England. “This was the first event of our new partnership with BT, and we are all very excited about working with them, over the next three years, to provide more opportunities for more people to experience the sport.”
The Championships also gave spectators the chance to try out the sport, with over 200 taking up the opportunity. Community Partners Harlequins were on hand to lead skills sessions and Motivate East introduced over 100 young people to other recreational sports.
Suzy Christopher, head of brand partnerships at BT, commented: “As a long-term supporter of disability sport and one of the driving forces behind the Paralympic movement in the UK, we’re excited about our new partnership with GB Wheelchair Rugby. The BT Wheelchair Rugby National Championships was the first big domestic event being staged as part of this partnership, and it was fantastic to see the UK’s best wheelchair rugby players in action. Disability sport doesn’t just inspire us all to be the best we can be, it’s also about world class athletes and competition at the highest level. That’s why I couldn’t be more delighted with our partnership with Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby. We’re looking forward to working with GBWR, creating more possibilities than ever before for people to engage with, be inspired by, and have a go at the sport.”
Later this year international Wheelchair Rugby teams from Australia (London 2012 Gold medallists); Canada (Silver); USA (Bronze); New Zealand; South Africa; Japan and France, will return to the Copper Box Arena to join Great Britain for the highly anticipated BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge that will run alongside the Rugby World Cup from 12 to 16 October 2015.
Ticket information is available from the WWRC15 website: www.wwrc15.com
For further details contact Daniel Hook at GBWR: email@example.com
or Martyn Salt: firstname.lastname@example.org