Pirates bringing wheelchair rugby to Newport

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First published in Sport
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THERE is the opportunity to experience one of the highlights of London 2012 when wheelchair rugby taster sessions are held in Newport this summer.

South Wales Pirates, who are based in Llantrisant, are holding events at the Active Living Centre at Newport High School in Bettws in a bid to attract new players.

There is one session tomorrow afternoon between 3pm and 6pm before the sport returns for three Sundays in August (3, 17 and 31).

They are open to any potential players – men and women – aged 16 and over with a physical impairment.

Past experience in the sport is not required and Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby regional development officer Amanda Thomas has urged people to get involved.

"Wheelchair rugby is a fantastic sport for people with a wide range of disabilities," said Thomas, who hopes to establish regular sessions in Newport.

"They can get in a rugby chair and enjoy a brilliant contact and team sport that also has a super social side to it.

"We did open a lot of eyes at the London Paralympics and it is now a sport with its own identity.

"I'd encourage anyone to come along, whether just to enjoy some ball skills or for fitness."

The sport is a fusion of rugby, wheelchair basketball, ice hockey, handball and contact is permitted, as players use their chairs to block and hold opponents.

It is played on a basketball-sized court with goals scored by carrying the ball, which must be bounced or passed at least every 10 seconds, over the line.

Volunteers are also welcome to help out at the Pirates, who were established in 1989.

For more information contact Thomas on 07950 545014 or Paul Jenkins on 01656 725204.

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