The Seattle Wheelchair Rugby Association was established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization with the purpose of providing the disabled community of Western Washington access to the team sport of wheelchair rugby.
The SWRA promotes better physical and emotional health, bonding, and friendship through athletics for people with disabilities that have few other opportunities available to them.
Wheelchair Rugby was founded by a quadriplegic in British Columbia, Canada and was originally called Murderball. The game quickly gained popularity with individuals dealing with paralysis due to a spinal cord injury or other type of physical permanent impairment. This must affect at least 3 limbs of their body to beallowed to play. The name was changed to Wheelchair Rugby and national and international governing bodies soon followed.
Seattle Slam competes in Division 1 of the United States Quadrugby Association and travels to regional and national tournaments every year. We are currently ranked 5th in the United States.
In a study provided by the Washington State Department of Health, there are approximately 934,000 Washingtonians 5 years and older living with a disability. The majority (51%) being between the ages of 21 and 64 years of age. These households had significantly lower average annual incomes than those households without a member with a disability and the poverty rate for someone who is disabled is more than double someone who is not.
Although all participants of the Seattle Wheelchair Rugby Association have some sort of physical disability most play wheelchair rugby due to a spinal cord injury. According to a study initiated by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, 1 in 50 people are living with paralysis. At the time of this study, that was approximately 6 million people with a spinal cord injury in the United States.
For people with disabilities, it is hard to participate in athletics due to the high cost and support associated with specialized equipment, services, locations and specific needs related to the individual.
There has been much research into the benefits that playing team sports has on the emotional and physical health of its participants. The Seattle Wheelchair Rugby Association strives to provide all players with a physical disability access to playing the exciting sport of wheelchair rugby. We provide specialized rugby wheelchairs, gym time, coaching and a highly skilled medical support staff to sport our athletes and recruit new ones.
Our goals are to support our current athletes, recruit new ones, educate the public on wheelchair rugby and win a national title. The 3 major components of our program are:
Player development :
Wheelchair rugby techniques, drills, training, cardio, set plays, and scrimmages.
As a nationally ranked team with the United States Quadrugy Association, we host regional tournaments and travel to tournaments in the United States and Canada every year.
Our players participate in peer support outreach with rehabilitation units at local hospitals for newly disabled individuals. SWRA also provides demonstrations at local events with Seattle Adaptive Sports, the Paralympic Sports Committee’s local chapter, as well as private demonstrations for schools around the Puget Sound.
We depend on the support of organizations, business, and individuals within our communities. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, please contact us by filling out the form below.