Elite wheelchair athletes take Melbourne by storm

Published: 20 March 2024

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By Sport and Recreation Victoria

The Wheelchair Rugby National League Melbourne Invitational returned to the city’s west for a battle of the best.

More than 80 elite wheelchair rugby athletes from across the country descended on Melbourne in March for 3 days of fast and fearless action.

Marking the start of the 2024 season, the Wheelchair Rugby National League Melbourne Invitational took place at Caroline Springs Leisure Centre from 1 to 3 March.

Five of Australia’s best teams came together to compete in a round robin format, including Bond University, Sydney University, University of Queensland, Box Hill RUFC and Melbourne RUFC.

In a fierce competition right up until the final round, Bond University ultimately defeated Sydney University by 2 points.

Also competing across the weekend, VIC Thunder played SA Sharks across 5 Division 2 games, with the Thunder sweeping the board with 5 wins.

Wheelchair Rugby continues to grow in popularity across Australia. It’s a fast-paced, full contact, mixed gender team sport for athletes with a disability that began in Canada in 1976.

Australia is currently ranked number 2 in the world by World Wheelchair Rugby.

The Wheelchair Rugby National League Melbourne Invitational is one of more than 750 events that have received support through the Victorian Government’s Significant Sporting Events Program (SSEP) over the past decade.

SSEP supports national, international and regionally significant sporting events providing elite sport for Victorians in their own backyard.

Through this program, the government supports wheelchair athletes to participate across a wide range of sports, including the Victorian Wheelchair Tennis Open and Wheelchair AFL National Championships.

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