Weekend Warriors Claim Wheelchair Sports Alberta Summer Rugby League Title

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wheelchair sports_alberta

Story and Photos by Joel Belizario – ISN Edmonton

Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The Weekend Warriors edged the Kamikaze Mafia 39-35 in the final of the WSA (Wheelchair Sports Alberta) Wheelchair Rugby Summer League held on August 11th, 2012.

The Warriors finished the shortened season with a 3-2 win-loss record. The Kamikaze Mafia (3-3) and Ruff Ryders (2-3) finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The season was shortened due to gym closures.

Weekend Warrior player Dave Guiry (#5) receives an outlet pass during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)
Weekend Warrior player Dave Guiry (#5) receives an outlet pass during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)

The WSA Wheelchair Rugby Summer league has been running during the off-season for the past two years and will be active again in 2013. Regular season Wheelchair Rugby will commence in October with the Wheelchair Rugby Prairie League getting into full swing.

Kamikaze Mafia player Eric Black (#8) gets rid of the ball as he is hit hard by defender Michelle Ellestad (#10) during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)
Kamikaze Mafia player Eric Black (#8) gets rid of the ball as he is hit hard by defender Michelle Ellestad (#10) during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)

Wheelchair rugby was introduced as a demonstration sport at the 1996 Summer Paraylmpics in Atlanta and became a full medal event at the 2000 Summer Paralympic Games in Sydney. The game is played on a regulation size basketball court with four players aside. It is a mixed gender sport, where both male and female athletes play on the same teams.

Weekend Warrior captain Dale Nording (#7) secures the ball during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)
Weekend Warrior captain Dale Nording (#7) secures the ball during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)

The object of the game is for players to score by crossing the opposing team’s goal line while maintaining possession of the ball. This can be accomplished through passing, bouncing, and carrying of the ball. Physical contact between wheelchairs is permitted and forms a major part of the game. The collisions also add a rush of adrenaline and excitement for both players and fans alike.

Ken Hicks (#3) rolls over the goal line to score an uncontested goal during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)
Ken Hicks (#3) rolls over the goal line to score an uncontested goal during the WSA Rugby Summer League Final at St. Francis Xavier Sport Centre, Edmonton, Alberta on August 11th, 2012. (Photo: Joel Belizario / Island Sports News)

 

Learn more about the Wheelchair Sports Alberta at http://www.abwheelchairsport.ca/

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