Storm secure Wheelchair Rugby League funding
Mersey Storm Wheelchair Rugby League club have received £3,600 of funding from leading health cash plan provider Medicash which will be used to purchase five new wheelchairs for the team and help the club to expand its work on Merseyside.
With the Paralympics underway and the heightened focus on disability sport in this country the club hope that this will help them to attract even more people to this inclusive sport.
Mersey Storm was founded in 2009, after local voluntary group, Trust in Widnes, assisted the club with funding to purchase chairs and playing equipment.
The club was named the Mersey Vikings Wheelchair Rugby League when it launched three years ago, having been established by supporters of the local professional club, Widnes Vikings, and training in the Widnes area.
The club has since grown from a small group of enthusiasts and players, and now works with individuals from across the Merseyside region and North Wales, with the name being changed to Mersey Storm at the start of this year’s season to reflect the catchment area.
The donation by Liverpool-based Medicash will see the club’s premier team receive five new wheelchairs to enable it to perform to its full potential in national competitions.
Mersey Storm operates two teams in the Premiership and Championship national divisions of Wheelchair Rugby League.
The club also undertakes development work in local schools and colleges, giving youngsters the chance to participate in taster sessions of wheelchair tag rugby, and building links with disability groups such as Warrington Disability Partnership, Widnes Fellowship Centre and the Let’s Go Stroke Club.
The Medicash Charitable Trust has donated more than £1m to a variety of causes during the past 10 years and was formed through the merger of two separate trusts.
Andy Abernethy, Marketing Manager at Medicash, said: “Being a leading health cash plan provider, day-to-day wellbeing is at the forefront of the Medicash message.
“We are delighted to provide funding for Mersey Storm, which helps so many people to improve their physical and mental health, while offering people of all ages the chance to participate in this unique, fully-inclusive sport.”
Paul Myler, ex-Warrington and Widnes player and club chairman of Mersey Storm, said: “The value of the support that comes from companies like Medicash, is just fantastic.
“The team are really focused on developing the game and bringing their love of the sport to others, and this generous donation means they can do this whilst maximising their full potential.
“Medicash has shown true heart in backing the club, and on behalf of the whole team I would like to thank them for their contribution.”
Wheelchair Rugby League is fairly unique in that it offers both disabled and non-disabled players of both sexes the opportunity to compete both with and against each other on a level playing field.
This is created by the use of wheelchairs and some slight adaptations to the rules of 13-a-side Rugby League.
If you’re new to the sport here are a few key points:
• There are five players on each side
• The object of the game is to score tries
• Conversions are scored by punching the ball over the mini-posts from a tee
• Tackles are made in the same way as Tag Rugby by pulling off the attached tag
• Five tackles are followed by the handing over of possession
• Offside, knock-on and in-touch apply just like in the full version of the game
For more information about Wheelchair Rugby League visit: www.therfl.co.uk/play/wheelchair