Local wheelchair rugby team, the ‘Dorset Destroyers’, have raised concerns over their future, after further cuts were announced by UK Sport this week.
The accessible sports club, based in Poole is calling for action to raise awareness of wheelchair rugby and other disability sports to prevent any further changes to the budget.
Founder and Club Secretary of the ‘Dorset Destroyers’, Sue Coombs described the latest news as a “major challenge” for wheelchair rugby:
The disability sport has now lost all of its £3 million in funding from the British organisation – the budget distribution is dependent on the medals won by each sport at the Paralympics.
Sue said, “We’re probably bigger ambassadors than a lot of people are for our sport, because it’s not all about the ‘Destroyers’, it’s about wheelchair rugby as a whole.”
“There was supposed to be a legacy after 2012, now I wouldn’t necessarily say there is much of a legacy left over from that.”
It’s not the first time UK Sport has revealed they will be making cost effective cuts. In December 2016, they announced that GB wheelchair rugby will not receive any funding from UK Sport for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Dorset Destroyers took on the Invictus Team UK at their home court in Poole, last month, in order to raise awareness of the club.
The event was extremely popular and some spectators were turned away after it reached full capacity.
They’ve had an exciting season after finishing second in their first ever season in the Division Three League.
The future of wheelchair rugby still remains unclear, however, fundraising efforts are being made by local teams to keep the sport alive.