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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014

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Quad Rugby

Shawn Vogelgesang, from Lima, catches the ball and goes for the goal while Josh Becker and Ryan Sewell try to intercept it during the sixth annual Quad Rugby event

Photographer: Julia Moss

Quad Rugby

Heather Banks, a volunteer and 2nd year student in the School of Rehab and Communication Sciences, chases the ball during the sixth annual Quad Rugby event

Photographer: Julia Moss

Quad Rugby

(L-R)-Donny Owen, Ryan Sewell, Jodi Krause, Josh Becker, Dale Smerglia, and Shawn Vogelgesang anticipate the ball's direction in front of the goal line during the sixth annual Quad Rugby event

Photographer: Julia Moss

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Quad Rugby Tournament raises $4,000 for semi-pro quadriplegic rugby team


Ohio University Physical Therapy students hosted the sixth annual Fourplay! Quad Rugby Tournament on Saturday, and raised $4,000 for Ohio’s semi-pro quadriplegic rugby team, the Ohio Buckeye Blitz.

The Ping Center event featured 23 teams of four to six participants, with each team battling the Blitz for 30 minutes.

Wheelchair rugby, also known as quad rugby, is the fast-paced, official sport of the ParaOlympic games. Athletes with spinal cord injuries use reinforced, customized wheelchairs to "tackle" opponents in the full-contact sport. Quad rugby gained popularity following the 2005 release of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Murderball."

As with most amateur athletes, individual players are responsible for the majority of equipment, travel and tournament entry expenses. A rugby-ready wheelchair alone costs about $4,000. Physical therapy students have hosted the fundraising tournament for the past six years as a way to both help the team and give participants a new perspective on diversity.

Including the proceeds from Saturday's tournament, the students have raised about $13,000 for the team.
          
"I have watched the event grow tremendously over the past five tournaments," said Jodi Krause, who helped organized this year's event. "Every year, it attracts more and more participants and spectators outside the physical therapy community. I hope to see it continue to grow, not only to raise more money for the Blitz, but also to continue to raise awareness for these amazing athletes."