Maybe the most fun you can have on four wheels, Quad Rugby: Battle the Blitz is back for its 11 th annual games.
On Saturday, Sept. 30, the rubber meets the floor of Ohio University’s Ping Center as contestants take on the vaunted Buckeye Blitz, a semi-professional quad rugby team based out of Columbus. These guys play for keeps: only once in the history of this fundraiser has a team taken down the Blitz … but maybe this year could be twice!
The event is sponsored by the division of physical therapy in CHSP’s School of Rehabilitation and Communication Studies. Registration is still open for this event, which begins at 10 a.m. and goes through 5 p.m. Students, faculty, staff and community members can form a wheelchair rugby team of 4-5 players at a cost of just $100 per team. All proceeds are donated to the Ohio Buckeye Blitz to assist with costs related to equipment and travel.
“It’s usually not a fair fight but it’s a ton of fun,” said Tyler Veldhuizen, an organizer of the event. “They’ve only been beaten once and that was at the end of the day when they played like 2-on-6 and were super tired. Even though you get blown out, it’s still a lot of fun.”
Competitors know that sports can provide a sense of accomplishment, comradery and enjoyment but for a quadriplegic, it can be difficult to find a sport in which to participate. That’s where quad rugby comes in.
“Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for yourself,” said Veldhuizen. “Quad rugby is one of those adaptive sports that allows people with disabilities to play sports and receive all the benefits that come along with that.”
“It’s an expensive sport though,” he added. “Since you’re running into each other, you can’t use normal wheelchairs. They cost upwards of $3,000-$4,000 per chair. Then there are travel expenses, tournament entry fees and all the other things that come along with being a sports team. These aren’t professional athletes making millions of dollars so they have to raise their own funds.”
Saturday’s event is the largest fundraiser for the Blitz of the year.
“Not only do you get to help somebody out, you also get to have fun hanging out with friends and trying a sport you’ve probably never played before,” said Veldhuizen.
Everyone who participates will be entered into a raffle and earn a T-shirt. Free pizza will be served for lunch and the team that plays the best against the Blitz or, as Veldhuizen said, “If you’re the one team that happens to beat them or you lose by the least,” will win the Dean’s Challenge which nets a trophy and a $25 gift card from a local business.
“There are so many good reasons to do this and no reason not to,” said Veldhuizen.