We go behind-the-scenes of Aviva Premiership Rugby & grassroots clubs to find out more about The Dorset Destroyers in a tripleheader clash as The Dorset Destroyers play hosts to Bristol Bears and Northampton Saints, playing the new version of Wheelchair Rugby, called Wheelchair Rugby 5’s.

The new sport has been designed to run alongside the traditional game and is open to more disabled people, made up of a team of 5, as opposed to 4.

Wheelchair rugby is seen as one of the greatest success stories to come out of the London Paralympics, going from strength to strength.  It’s without doubt one of the Paralympics’ most thrilling events – full of drama, action and high-impact collisions.

Introducing the Dorset Destroyers: Pride of the South-West

The competition saw the three teams participate in a total of six games, displaying wheelchair rugby in all its glory as five players on either side battled it out before trying to score. Each contest saw the reinforced wheelchairs tested to their absolute limits as players from every side engaged in some ferocious collisions.

Even the smallest players were flying into duels, taking huge hits and coming out unscathed – fear, it seems, doesn’t even register to those that play wheelchair rugby.

The Dorset Destroyers were the more experienced side and utilised superior teamwork to produce a wheelchair rugby masterclass. They won all of their matches and did so with class and style, before taking time to share tips and knowledge with their opposition.

The grassroots revolution

Having been founded by Nick the club’s chairman back in March 2014, the Destroyers are now closing in on their four year anniversary.  Nick originally wanted to get involved in a more competitive sport for people in wheelchairs, so contacted Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) and soon got the green light to start a club.

After starting some taster sessions alongside GBWR, Nick was told to expect no more than a handful of players. But after just four sessions, he already had enough players for two whole teams and, three years on, the side boasts 20 players and until recently had a waiting list of players wanting to join.

It’s a real success story. And as wheelchair rugby continues to go from strength to strength, there’s never been a better time to get involved.

Learn more about wheelchair rugby and find your nearest club via GBWR, here.

Upcoming Dates

After a successful launch back in December 2017, GBWR are following up with three tournaments across the summer, these dates combined creates the inaugural Wheelchair Rugby 5s Summer League.

The league will consist of 8 teams, fighting it out across the three dates with the winning club being crowned, ‘The best WR5s club in the country’.

The WR5s Summer League dates are:

Saturday 5th May

Sunday 10th June

Sunday 2nd September 

 **All dates will be hosted at Stoke Mandeville Stadium**

Within the next few weeks an information and registration pack will be going out to clubs and participants explaining everything you will need to know for the forth coming Summer League. However, if you would like more information, please contact our Projects Officer, Adam Simmons. adam.simmons@gbwr.org.uk