To misquote the infamous Guinness TV ad of the 1980s: “I’ve never tried wheelchair rugby before because I don’t like it!” Well on Friday 30th September 2022 at the Brentwood Centre in Essex and courtesy of the LA, I now have tried wheelchair rugby and I can report that do like it! The LA organised a Wheelchair Rugby and Cricket Experience Day and it was a superb event made up of inclusive and accessible activities for amputees, friends and colleagues!
With the generous support of the event sponsors and legal panel members – Bolt Burdon Kemp, the day provided a unique opportunity to have a go at these wheelchair-based sports that are nothing like you might have previously imagined. As a younger man, I played club rugby throughout the colder months and then morphed into a cricketer for the warmer months of the year. Sport was my world at that time and it definitely contributed to my surviving the extreme trauma limb loss that changed my life forever at the age of 23.
But wheelchair rugby and cricket is a special challenge that can test you just as much as the traditional versions of these sports. As an amputee cricketer of many decades experience, I was particularly impressed with the coaching and support provided by the guys from Essex County Cricket Club’s Disability Cricket initiative. The Wheelchair Rugby Experience team were also very good at explaining how their version of this sport should be safely undertaken.
This memorable day was also an opportunity for the LA to raise awareness of the vital work that we do in supporting lives beyond limb loss. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to speak to some special guests on the day including the MP for Brentwood, Alex Burghart and the Mayor of Brentwood, Councillor Olivia Sanders and I believe that they went away from the venue with a really positive awareness of our Charity, its work and the LA cause.
The latest edition of StepForward is now out! You can find out more here.
Blog post written by: David Rose
Photography credit: Ian Davidson