GB Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) will formally announce former Wales international rugby player Rupert Moon as an ambassador for GBWR at Llandarcy Academy of Sport on Sunday 18 November.
Rupert who played rugby for Welsh clubs Abertillery, Neath and most memorably Llanelli, won 24 caps for Wales at scrum half and over the last six years has been supporting the growth of wheelchair rugby in Wales.
He will join around 40 junior wheelchair rugby players at Llandarcy for the Lord’s Taverners Junior Wheelchair Rugby Welsh Festival.
The junior festival is an opportunity for junior players to take part in skills based activities and to compete against those with similar impairments.
There will be teams from Ospreys, Scarlets, Bristol Bears, Exeter, Gloucester and Solent Sharks.
The festival is also a great opportunity to showcase junior wheelchair rugby in Wales and the thriving partnership between the Lord’s Taverners, GBWR and local partnerships with Ospreys Scarlets, Active Gwent, Dragons the WRU, Disability Sport Wales and the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust .
Also attending the festival will be current GB athlete Jim Roberts. Jim was a successful Welsh cross country runner when he caught bacterial meningitis whilst an under graduate at Coventry University. This resulted in a prolonged stay in hospital, and the amputation of both his legs.
A nurse who supported his rehab, introduced him to the sport of Wheelchair Rugby and Jim quickly became an influential force in the game.
He has been a regular in the GB team since 2013 and at the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Sydney is year was voted as the best world player in his class.
The festival will start at 11am and spectators are welcome.
Rupert Moon will formally be announced as GBWR’s ambassador in Wales at 1pm.
The festival is due to end at 3pm when Rupert will present the trophy to the winning team.
David Pond, CEO of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, said: “We are delighted to be at Llandarcy for this fantastic tournament and to see how wheelchair rugby is growing in Wales. It’s also really exciting that Rupert has accepted our invitation to become an ambassador. He has already done a great deal to raise the profile of the sport in Wales and his infectious enthusiasm and genuine willingness to support those who play will make a huge difference to the game in Wales.
“I would also like to thank all partners in Wales especially the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust whose support has been critical in enabling us to grow junior and adult wheelchair rugby in Wales.”
Rupert Moon said: “I’m honoured to accept the role as an ambassador and look forward to continuing to work with GBWR to help more disabled people experience the joy of the game. If you have yet to see it then get along to Llandarcy and watch the juniors play or get yourself to Leicester for the Quad Nations in March when GB take on the best in the world.”
About Wheelchair Rugby:
Wheelchair rugby was first recognised as a full medal sport at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. It has since featured at the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016. Originating in Canada in the 1970s, wheelchair rugby developed from the ‘murderball’ game – created by a group of disabled sportsmen. The GB national team came 4th in the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Sydney in August this year. They will play the top eight teams in the world at the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge in October 2019 which sits alongside the Rugby World Cup.
For more details about the sport www.gbwr.org.uk
The Lord’s Taverners is the UKs leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance. The charity helps fund the Lord’s Taverners Wheelchair Rugby Youth programme. www.lordstaverners.org