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11 June 2013

Wheelchair Rugby Spreads into Russia

The development of Wheelchair Rugby has spread into Russia, and in 2012 the sport was officially recognized by the Russian Federation Ministry of Sport, Russian Paralympic Committee, and the Russian Federation of Sports for Persons with Physical Impairment.


In November 2012, the first wheelchair rugby Championship was held in Alexin (Tula region), with three teams participating from the Republic of Dagestan, Moscow, and Primorskiy Kray. The event was organized by the Russian Federation of Sports for Persons with Physical Impairment, and financially supported by the Russian Federation Ministry of Sports. The Russian Paralympic Committee provided athletes with temporary classification based on international standards. The tournament was a great success and the Republic of Dagestan were crowned as Russia's first National Champions.


The development momentum in Russia has continued since last November, with new interest from potential players and organisations wanting to become involved.


In April of 2013, Jacques Erasmus (South Africa) and Sofia Beloka (Greece) conducted an IWRF Classification clinic in Moscow, held in conjunction with the first stage of the 2013 Russian wheelchair rugby championship. At the conclusion of this tournament Moscow was declared the winner, and the Russian Federation of Sport for Persons with Physical Impairment announced that it is planning to purchase new rugbychairs for the members of the Russian National Wheelchair Rugby Team.


Despite typical difficulties associated with the development of Wheelchair Rugby such as finding qualified coaches and specialists, there are still very good prospects in Russia. Most importantly, the first steps in developing Wheelchair Rugby here have been made, and with tremendous determination, a will to compete, and persistence for which the Russian National Rugby Wheelchair Team is known for, this program is certain to have prolonged success in its future.


For more information on wheelchair rugby in Russia, contact Manzurov Andrey at 8-963-604-05-49 or email