Loughborough Alumni


15 Feb 2019

Alumnus plays key role in GB wheelchair rugby ahead of major tournament

David Pond is set to return to the local area next month as Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team take part in the Second Quad Nations tournament.

David (top left) is CEO of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and will be joining the team at the event. The competition, held from 1-3 March in Leicester’s Morningside Arena, will see Britain compete against World Wheelchair Rugby Champions Japan, as well as Canada and France.  

The inaugural tournament held last year, featuring Britain, Australia, Japan and the USA, attracted more than 5,000 supporters. Although the sport is mixed, the British team this year features a female for the first time and the tournament will include a women-only match on 2 March.

David, who graduated in 1978 with a BEd in Physical Education, said: “I’m really excited to be returning to Leicester for this tournament which again sees us play some of the top teams in the world, including Japan, recently crowned as World Champions.

“I like the selection and it’s good to see a female athlete earn a place in the squad. Kylie is proof that if you are good enough then being female is no barrier to making this team.

“As always I am humbled by the support we are getting from our sponsor King Power and from the many businesses and local people in the city.”

Originating in Canada in the 1970s, wheelchair rugby is fast-growing. It was first recognised as a full-medal sport at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney and has featured in every Paralympic Games since. It will feature again at Tokyo 2020.

Described as “brutal” by fans and commentators, players compete in specially-designed, manual wheelchairs and must meet a minimum disability criterion. All competing athletes were either born with physical disabilities, or have suffered illness which has affected their mobility, or else experienced life-changing injuries through accidents, including those serving in the armed forces.

You can find out more information about the tournament and how to get tickets online.

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