Wheels roll during Rugby championships

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Janine Fabre (author), CPL Janine Fabre (photographer)

Location(s): South Tidworth

Topic(s): Sport, Rugby Union, Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

Corporal Josh Gray (left), Able Seaman Dale Hood and Lieutenant Brendan Dumbrell (RAN) race each other during a friendly match of wheelchair rugby at Tedworth House. (photo: CPL Janine Fabre)
Corporal Josh Gray (left), Able Seaman Dale Hood and Lieutenant Brendan Dumbrell (RAN) race each other during a friendly match of wheelchair rugby at Tedworth House.

The Australian Services Rugby Union men's team was no match for the vastly superior team from Tedworth House in a friendly game of wheelchair rugby on 2 October. 

The Australians were dominated right from the start during their visit to the Help for Heroes recovery centre.

The three-man and one-woman team from Tedworth House steered their wheelchairs quickly and nimbly around the clumsy Australians who were often left behind.

The referee, taking pity on the Australians, allowed nine players, but they were still beaten by the team of four veterans. 

The Australians afterwards said it was really difficult to steer the wheelchairs and it required a different type of strength to what they were used to. 

"It was pretty hard, we just couldn't keep up," Able Seaman Will Solway said. 

"They just dominated us but it was awesome."

Corporal Zac Studders said the highlight of the visit for him was the wheelchair rugby.

"I was really impressed with how the veterans have moved on with their lives instead of giving up," Corporal Studders said.

"It was quite inspirational." 

The Australian Services Rugby Union team were also taken on a tour of the facilities at Tedworth House recovery centre.

The recovery centre is run by Help for Heroes, a UK charity that provides support for wounded, injured and sick veterans and servicemen and women as well as their loved ones. They work closely with the Ministry of Defence to ensure that the veterans obtain the best possible support for their rehabilitation.

The Help for Heroes Director of Recovery, David Richmond, himself wounded in Afghanistan, knows the long road recovering veterans face. 

"We are not out of conflict, we are in between conflicts," Mr Richmond said.

"We want to make sure that when the next batch of casualties come there is something in place for them so we need to make sure that support is always available.”