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  • 07 March 2014 00:00
  • in Paralympics
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Gloucester Rugby launch new wheelchair rugby development programme

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Gloucester Rugby Community have joined forces with Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) and the University of Gloucestershire to launch a new wheelchair rugby development programme which aims to provide opportunities for disabled people to get involved in the sport.

The partnership was officially launched at the University of Gloucestershire when GBWR captain Alan Ash and London 2012 Paralympian Kylie Grimes joined Gloucester Rugby players Lua Lokotui and James Simpson-Daniel as well as a number of local players to celebrate the start of the initiative. 

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and the University of Gloucestershire on this new initiative,” said Gloucester Rugby CEO Stephen Vaughan. 

"The Wheelchair Rugby programme will form a part of our community portfolio. 

"The initial goal will be to increase numbers playing and to provide the opportunity for regular club based activity.

"Ultimately we hope to establish a strong wheelchair rugby club that will compete at the highest level."

"We are extremely grateful to our corporate partners EDF Energy who are sponsoring the new Wheelchair Club and Lanes Health who have added their support to the schools development programme."

This initiative will be the first formal partnership the National Governing Body for Wheelchair Rugby has with a Premiership Rugby club and University.

"Gloucester is such a strong rugby city so it makes sense that Gloucester Rugby should get involved in Wheelchair Rugby,” said GBWR CEO David Pond.

"The support of the University means this new club will only go from strength to strength."

Dr Andy Pitchford, the Director of Sport at the University of Gloucestershire, said he is delighted to be involved. 

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the University of Gloucestershire to play a big part in local sport.

"Our students can be great contributors to this project as coaches, leaders and players, and we are delighted to be working with such great organisations as Gloucester Rugby Club and GB Wheelchair Rugby."

EDF Energy generation managing director Stuart Crooks also gave his full backing. 

"I am delighted that we can support this new wheelchair rugby team group which offers people with disabilities a chance to play a superb contact sport,” said Crooks.

"EDF Energy has been a long-time supporter of Paralympic sport and is a company that places diversity and inclusion at the centre of its organisation.”

Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby Club training sessions will be held every week with eight new local players having already joined the club.

For more information or to get involved in wheelchair rugby, Click Here 

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