- By Keith Hosey -
The United States Quad Rugby Association’s (USQRA) Nationals have returned to Louisville this year. This is a full contact sport like you’ve never seen before. Called Murderball by some, Quad Rugby or Wheelchair Rugby is a “full-contact sport, [where] they smash the hell out of each other in custom-made gladiator-like wheelchairs…. In addition to smashing chairs, it will smash every stereotype you ever had about the disabled.” (Quote from the Description of the movie Murderball).
A couple years ago, I took a teen volunteer group to a Quad Rugby event (quarter finals or something) here in Louisville. As a group we volunteered and, having seen the sport before, I knew it was great exposure to the disability world and would confront many of their possible stereotypes and attitudes about disabilities.
I’m not sure what their thoughts were about disability before the event, I think I heard one of them refer to it as a “Special Olympics” event. The tone was not specifically derogatory but a very matter-of-fact, like much of the general public sees the Special Olympics, “that’s nice they have that, but they’re certainly not at a very high skill level” tone (Please know that I’m not knocking the Special Olympics. The athletes that compete in those events train really hard, do a great job, and deserve our respect). This event blew their stereotypes out of the water because these guys are just as athletic as LeBron and Peyton Manning and probably train twice as hard.
You have an excellent opportunity to see these world-class athletes up close and personal. Many of these players will also compete in the Paralympic Games http://www.london2012.com/paralympic-sport, in London right after the Olympic Games. These guys (and gals!) have more athleticism in their pinky than most people have in their whole able-bodies. If you are a true fan of sports, this is a must see event.
More Information, including the schedule, about the Quad Ruby Nationals In Louisville this weekend.