Glasgow Wheelchair Rugby Club is gearing up to host a taster session to encourage folks with all abilities and disabilities to get active.

The club, home of the Caledonian Crushers, is expanding to encourage more Glaswegians experiencing any level of physical disability to reap the sport’s community and health benefits.

Originally dubbed ‘murderball’, it was created by a group of Canadians in the 1970s who found other sports difficult with limited hand or arm function.

Glasgow Times:

Played on a basketball court with specially designed wheelchairs, this style of rugby is an inclusive sport that has become popular with a diverse group of athletes, including those with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis as well as spinal cord injuries.

The freshly kitted out club wants to encourage anyone over the age of eight, regardless if they are a wheelchair user, to get involved.

Glasgow Times:

Donald Hutton, long-time player with the Crushers, told the Glasgow Times: “We balance out the competitiveness along with inclusivity.”

Mr Hutton broke his neck hitting a rock when diving into the sea and was paralysed from the chest down with limited hand and arm function.

He wants to encourage more youngsters to get involved because of the physical and mental benefits.

He explained that kids sometimes aren’t getting the full athletic experience playing sports that require more function, like basketball.

Glasgow Times:

He added: “But if they played wheelchair rugby, they could be superstars.

“It’s a fantastic sport. See when you play, the buzz you get, I just love it. It’s fantastic, I just want to share it with other people.

“Speaking for myself, you instantly get a whole new group of friends, play with great people, and they are a lovely, lovely bunch.”

Glasgow Times:

He has found playing wheelchair rugby to help greatly with spasms and quality of sleep.

Mr Hutton said: “You wake up the next day and you’re just bouncing about on top of the world.”

Susan Gilhespie, a physiotherapist at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit, attends the games to ensure players aren’t injured.

She said: “Exercise is as important to those with physical disability as to the able bodied.

“Playing wheelchair rugby gives an excellent cardiovascular workout, which keeps the heart and lungs strong.”

Glasgow Times:

She explained that the strength and skills players develop can help other areas like transferring into their wheelchair or pushing their wheelchair longer distances.

Paul Black, head coach of the Crushers, describes the game as “high energy” and “an adrenaline-filled atmosphere”.

He said: “The sport is the only full contact sport in the Paralympics where not only do you see the chairs crash into each other but the nature of the sport encourages this for a team to gain an advantage over their opposition.

“A sport like this draws out the basic instinct in any sportsman or woman, that basic desire to play hard to win.”

Glasgow Times:

He added: “The points system that is used, based on the function a player has, helps to ensure that players of all abilities get a fair opportunity to take part in the game and have a meaningful role to play.”

The Glasgow Wheelchair Rugby Club taster session will take place at Tollcross Leisure Centre on Saturday between 12-3pm.