The wheel deal for rugby

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WHEELCHAIR Rugby, billed as the most exciting game of the 2012 London Paralympics, comes to Sheffield when the Finals of the 2011 Coloplast Super Series League take place at the English Institute of Sport.

Players from the 2012 squad will join their local team members from tomorrow until Sunday to battle it out for the Super Series crown.

A terrifying fusion of ice hockey, handball and rugby, the game was founded in Canada in 1977 and was originally dubbed ‘Murderball’. It’s not just about brute force though - tactically it’s a very intelligent game to be involved in. Eight rolling substitutes make up squads of 12, with four players on court per team at any time. The aim is to thunder across your opponents’ goal line with two wheels in contact with the hardwood floor and the ball in your hands. Players in possession have to bounce the ball or pass it within 10 seconds of receiving it.

Wheelchair Rugby has so far dominated TV coverage of Paralympic sport this year, with players starring in programmes such as Channel 4’s ‘Inside Incredible Athletes’; appearing on ‘Breakfast News’; BBC News 24 and even playing on board the Woolwich Ferry as it sailed down the Thames and under Tower Bridge. “It’s a really exciting time for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby,” Chief Executive David Pond said. “Not only is Team GB progressing well towards the Paralympic Games, thanks to the funding support of UK Sport, the Lottery and Sport England, but it means that the sport is able to grow at all levels and be in a position to challenge for Paralympic gold.”

Entry to the finals is free, with games played throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday on two courts. Taking part will be players destined to represent the UK in the 2012 London Paralympics, as well as amateurs from clubs around the country.

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