A Wheelchair Rugby Club based in Poole completed a 26-hour marathon match on 17th March, highlighting a new version of Wheelchair Rugby, developed for those players who could not play in the traditional league.
The 26-hour marathon of Wheelchair Rugby 5s saw players go head-to-head battle between the reds and the yellows, resulting in a phenomenal score of 853 (reds), 831 (yellows).
The teams were made up of Dorset Destroyers, Royal Signals and the sponsors from 4com.
The event saw 113 inner tubes explode and 15 tyres rip! There were nine knock outs of wheelchairs and 1,684 tries scored, with the 40 men and women pretty exhausted towards the end!
The event was held at Rossmore Leisure Centre in Poole, with the teams consisting of five players each with a maximum squad of 12. The marathon started at 1.10pm on Saturday 17th, with three getting injured and two leaving at 9am on Sunday.
Wheelchair Rugby 5s is played over two periods of 12 minutes. In the last 30 seconds of the marathon the theme tune to Countdown came on, with everyone going all out to score that final try.
One of the organisers of the marathon and co-founder of the Dorset Destroyers, Sue Coombs, said, “There were tears of joy, happiness and much shouting and screaming from the crowd and players as the two referees blew their whistles to draw the 26 hours to an end.
“We’d done it, we’d played Wheelchair Rugby 5s, non-stop, for 26 hours. And we’d played at a fast pace for the whole day/night/day.”
“We have put Wheelchair Rugby firmly on the map in Dorset, giving the sport a big hit of publicity. There have been thousands of hits on our website, new players interested in playing and so many people watching the game live across the world.”
Sue Coombs and Dave Wilkinson were thanked for organising the marathon, as were Deane Cartledge and 4com who sponsored the event and brought a team down. Thanks also went to Sean Gabriel from Rossmore Leisure Centre who donated the hall hire, David Bates from the Royal Signals in Blandford and to everyone who played, volunteered, watched, supported and made the event happen.