The Sports Association held their annual CT Classic Wheelchair Rugby Tournament on December 3rd and 4th 2016 at the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford, CT. This four-team round robin tournament brought together teams from across the Northeast including the Sports Association’s Connecticut Jammers, the Northeast Passage Wildcats (NH), the New York Warriors and the Western New York Wreckers. Each team played four games over the course of the two-day tournament.
Wheelchair Rugby, otherwise known as “Quad Rugby” or “Murderball” is an intense, fast-paced, loud, hard-hitting and highly competitive game. It’s the only full contact wheelchair sport in the world and players use specialized chairs to hit, block and hold opponents.
The Warriors dominated the first day of the tournament, winning all their games with the closest match being against the NEP Wildcats. The second day of the tournament was excit- ing, especially the last two games of the tour- nament. The Connecticut Jammers won in their second game against the WNY Wreckers, placing third in the tournament. This was a huge win for the Jammers and the excitement was evident as spectators and team members cheered after the win! The final playoff game of the tournament was the NY Warriors versus the NEP Wildcats. This was a close game with a tied score at the end of the four quarters. The game went into triple overtime with both teams scoring back and forth, until NY War- riors scored the final goal!
The Sports Association would like to recognize and thank Kaylea Mazzamurro for bringing the tournament to her school as part of her high school senior capstone project. Kaylea’s brother was recently a patient at Gaylord on the spinal cord injury unit. Kaylea knew she wanted to incorporate SCI into her senior project while also giving back to Gaylord. When she found out that the Sports Associa- tion needed a site for the tournament, she approached her principal and they agreed to host the CT Classic! Kaylea is also raising money to make comfort bags for SCI patients at Gaylord.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this tournament possible, including volunteers from Gaylord Hospital, Quinnipiac University, Southern Connecticut State University and the Grey Rugby Team. We are also grateful to our tournament sponsors: United Spinal Association Connecticut Chapter, Advanced Wheels, New Britain Medical Supplies and Siracusa Moving & Storage.
About Wheelchair Rugby:
Wheelchair Rugby, otherwise known as “Quad Rugby” or “Murderball” is an intense, com- petitive sport for athletes with a disability and requires that players have an impairment that affects all or a portion of both the upper and lower extremities. The game includes ele- ments from wheelchair basketball, handball, rugby and hockey and is played on a regula- tion basketball court with men and women competing on the same teams. Wheelchair rugby games are highly competitive, fast moving and physical contact between wheel- chairs is an integral part of the game. Players use custom sport wheelchairs specially designed to withstand the impact of hits from other players. The sport is practiced in over 25 countries and is a summer Paralympic sport.
The Sports Association of Gaylord Hospital has been providing adaptive sports and recreation opportunities for persons with physical disabilities and visual im- pairments since 1995. We are a proud member of Disabled Sports USA and a Bronze level Paralympic Sports Club.