Wheelchair rugby is the only sport for people with physical disabilities in at least 3 extremities. It can therefore be considered to be a combination of chess, ice hockey and handball.
In the 1970s, wheelchair rugby become known as "murderball" and made its way to Germany in the 1990s and has been growing in popularity ever since. Since 2000, wheelchair rugby has become one of the paralympic disciplines.
If you think about that there would be only one sport which you could actively practice, it becomes easily clear which hurdles a player has to overcome in order to partake in this sport. Especially for handicapped people, sports are more than just a freetime activity or fun, it is rather a way of regaining their personal self assurance, joy of life and thereby reintegrating themselves into society.
This sport unites people with their individual fates and gives them normality back. Something that seemed lost at first after some severe accidents and strokes of fate.
The attention which sports for the disabled get in the soccer-dominated country like Germany is rather small. Accordingly, it is also rather difficult to reach certain goals as a team.
This is exactly why we have created the project "Wheelchair Rugby - Much more than a sport!"
Both of us coach the German Wheelchair Rugby national team in our free time, which means that we continuously are with the team and help wherever we are needed. This help reaches from bringing baggage to the airport, opening heavy doors to helping someone from one into another weelchair - we are, so to speak, the "missing hands".
When you hear the term "national team", you obviously instantly think: a lot of money, sponsors, tournaments and black-red-gold jerseys :-) Well, the jerseys do actually already exist. However, we are constantly struggling to achieve the rest of these things.
Unfortunately, subsidies have become less and less every year, even though our team has greatly improved its position in the world ranking list. Many players are unable to afford an own sport wheelchair, since those have to be made individually due to different levels of impairment. Also, the equipment is expensive and the material wear and tear is high.
Many players often have to travel more than 150km to the nearest training facility.
Nevertheless, the players have defied these obstacles. Together with the players, we are experiencing unique and extraordinary situations, which has shown us how important it is to have something in life worth fighting for.
The goal of our project is to enable the team to partake in an international tournament. In order to do so, we need financial support and we are happy about every single cent and every single donation.