On Thursday, the UCT 1st XV interrupted their training to get an introduction to wheelchair rugby, also known as murderball, to help raise awareness of disability sports.
UCT’s Disability Service, in collaboration with the League of Friends of the Blind and UCT Sport & Recreation, hosted a sports evening at the UCT Sports Centre to which the Ikey Tigers had been invited.
South Africa’s national teams demonstrated how the games are played, and the UCT rugby boys were challenged to join them. Wheelchair rugby, originally called murderball, is a contact sport with its roots in wheelchair basketball and ice hockey. The Ikeys had plenty of fun, playing two short, but intense matches against the “pro’s” who weren’t afraid to get physical.
The other game on exhibition was goal ball, a team sport designed for blind athletes, in which sides of three try to throw a ball with bells embedded in it into the opposing team’s goal. Sighted players wear blindfolds to compete fairly. Unfortunately the Ikeys didn’t get to try, as time was running short.
The event was aimed at creating awareness of disability sports among both disabled and non-disabled people, and at bringing the disciplines and athletes closer to the mainstream sporting arena.