Wheelchair Rugby Nationals 2013

October 09, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Hi, my name is Chris Harvey and I play for the Waikato Wheelchair Rugby team. I have been involved in the sport for 23 years and I am still totally immersed in the dynamics and diversity that has made wheelchair rugby the fast paced sport that it is today.


Wheelchair rugby is a cross between basketball, American football and ice hockey; and was specifically designed for wheelchair users, although those who are able bodied can also participate.


The annual NZ Wheelchair Rugby Nationals took place at the Pioneer Stadium in Christchurch on Friday 12th to Sunday 15th September. The trip down to Christchurch was filled with extensive checks and challenges at the airport - a common experience when athletes, wheelchair users or a combination of the two (like me) travel.


Once we landed and collected our gear, we hurdled into the van and made our way to our hotel to rest. If the previous years were anything to go by, we certainly would need it!


Friday morning started off with bloodied heads, broken chairs, and stitches – all of which happened before we had even made it to the venue! Who decided it was a good idea to schedule the tournament on Friday the 13th?


The first teams to play against each other were Auckland White and Waikato, both of which played a strong game until the third quarter and our defence slipped away, giving Auckland White the win.


Saturday was nothing short of the usual hype and bantering between the players – all in good spirits of course! We had an even start against Canterbury but our strong defence allowed us to take the game. Our next game against Australia A was tense but it was our ‘cool heads’ that led us to victory in this must-win game. It was great to compete against new players.


Our final game of the day was against Auckland Blue and despite feeling tired and sore, we still managed to be in high spirits by the end of a very long day. We were defeated by 8 points, but it was good to play against a strong wheel black line up. The teams were certainly feeling the pinch by Sunday as our game of round-robin came to an end. We ended on a high note, winning our game over Victoria. The final results were:


1st Place:  Auckland Blue

2nd Place:  Auckland White

3rd Place:  Waikato

4th Place:  Victoria

5th Place:  Canterbury

6th Place:  GIO NSW Gladiators

7th Place:  Australia A                 


In summary, this year’s New Zealand Wheelchair rugby was a fantastic tournament and I would like to extend a big thank you to the organisers, sponsors (including C1 South), Parafed Canterbury and all those that participated or attended the games. For more information on Parafed, please visit www.paralympics.org.nz/parafeds.htm


If you have any comments about this blog or would like some further information, please leave a message below.

Copy_of_Wheelchair_Tennis_2013_008.jpgChris is a Communications Assistant at C1 South and is responsible for maintaining relationships with the various people and organisations that we support throughout New Zealand. His personal experience as a complete C6/7 quadriplegic and wheelchair user for the past 27 years hasn’t stopped him from living a busy lifestyle as a sportsperson, family man, and member of various committees. He is incredibly knowledgeable on all-things related to disability and invites you to share your cause, ideas, or story at chris@1south.co.nz or in the space below.

Written by Chris Harvey   |  Edited by Meela Bhatti