Posted on September 01 2014
[caption width="700"]Wally Salvan and members of the England Wheelchair Sevens Rugby team at the demonstration in Olympic Park.[/caption]
National Paralympic Day at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Saturday featured a demonstration of the relatively new sport of Wheelchair Sevens Rugby, a sport which was invented recently in France by Wally Salvan, a pioneer of disability sport development. Wheelchair Sevens is supported and sponsored by Rhino France and MD David Foti took time to travel over with Wally for the demonstration event which took place near the Copper Box Arena amongst many other features on the day. The sport differs in a number of ways from the Wheelchair Rugby game (originally developed in Canada and formerly known as ‘Murderball’) which featured in the 2012 Paralympics – it is played with a rugby ball rather than a round one, and like rugby involves only passing backwards. The other features of rugby (scrums, line outs, conversions, drop goals) which Wheelchair Sevens Rugby embraces are shown in the attached videos taken at Saturday’s demonstration. In order to popularise the sport and enable sides to be more easily formed it also actively encourages the involvement of non-disabled people. 8 Nations are already members of the Wheelchair Sevens International Board (W7IB) and in 2013 France won the inaugural 6 Nations tournament. Further international tournaments are planned going ahead and Wally hopes to stage a demonstration event in Rio in the week between the Olympics and Paralympics in 2016. Rhino France is proud to be a supporter of this innovative and inclusive new disability sport and is currently working with Wally Salvan to develop a new wheelchair for disability sports in general. The current price of these is often a barrier to participation and it is hoped to develop a much cheaper multi-purpose plastic injection moulded model to address this issue.