With six months to go until the start of the Paralympic Games, some of the world’s best Wheelchair Rugby teams have been confirmed to play in the International Invitational Wheelchair Rugby competition, a test event for London 2012 and part of the London Prepares series.
Four of the world’s top six Wheelchair Rugby teams will battle it out in the Basketball Arena at the Olympic Park on 18-19 April in the first Paralympic test event this year, lead by world number two Australia. They will be by joined Sweden, Canada and Great Britain, who are ranked fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF), will be a vital event for competing teams as they get the chance to play in the same venue as they will do during the Games later this year.
The IWRF competition will be used by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) to test key operations ahead of the Games. The field of play, timing, scoring and results systems will be tested, and the event doubles up as a selection event for the Paralympic Games for technical officials.
“Wheelchair Rugby is one of the most fast paced and dynamic Paralympic sports, so testing the field of play is vital,” said David Luckes, Head of Sport Competition at LOCOG. “We previously tested the Basketball Arena at the basketball test event last year, but trialling the venue for wheelchair users is very important, as is allowing our workforce and volunteers the chance to refine their operations with just over six months to go until the Paralympic Games.”
Access to the International Invitational Wheelchair Rugby event will be allocated to local residents, members of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and athletes’ friends and families.
The International Rugby Board and IWRF announced a ground-breaking partnership in 2010, based on the values of respect, fair play and teamwork, to share knowledge and experience for the further development of both global governing bodies and organisations.
Wednesday, 18 April
10:00 – 11:15: Sweden v Great Britain
12:00 – 13:15: Australia v Canada
16:00 – 17:15: Sweden v Australia
18:00 – 19:15: Canada v Great Britain
Thursday, 19 April
Session 3 :
10.00 – 11.15: Australia v Great Britain
12.00 – 13.15: Sweden v Canada
16.00 – 17.15: Third place play-ff
18.00 – 19.15: Final