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Ability360 Phoenix Heat
Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:00 am - Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 5:00 pm MST
The Ability360 Phoenix Heat, which capped an undefeated 2017 season with its third United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) national championship, will defend the title against the nation’s top 15 wheelchair rugby teams at the 2018 national tournament, April 19-21 at Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, 5031 E. Washington St. in Phoenix.
Presented by VMI (www.vantagemobility.com), one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of wheelchair van conversions, the Phoenix Heat are led by world champion gold medalist and coach Scott Hogsett of Chandler and include Joe Jackson (Chandler), Ernie Chun (Phoenix), Obanel Serrano (Prescott), Ben Goss (Dunstable, MA), Derek Paral (New York City), Kory Puderbaugh (Boise, ID), Jeremiah Weise (Elko, NV), Shin Shimakawa (Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan), Brian Sperle (Hayward, CA), Nick Springer (New York City) and Jake Zunich (Silver City, N.M).
“These world class athletes compete at the highest level of the sport and we know that there will be a target on the backs of the Phoenix Heat,” said Tournament Director Katie Ritter.
There will be no admission charge to watch the tournament, which begins at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 19, Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21. Last matches on Thursday and Friday begin at 6:30 p.m. Division championship games will be scheduled on Saturday.
Wheelchair rugby is a summer Paralympic sport played in more than 25 countries worldwide. Originally called “Murderball,” and the subject of a 2005 Academy Award-nominated documentary by the same name, the United States name “quad rugby” is based on the fact that all players must have disabilities that include at least some loss of function in at least three limbs. Most athletes are medically classified as quadriplegic.
The game is played indoors on a hardwood court and includes elements of wheelchair basketball, ice hockey, handball and rugby. A contact sport, it has little in common with the rugby football except for the name. The sport is governed by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF).
Championship tournament sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, contact Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center Vice President and General Manager Gus LaZear at [email protected] or by calling (602) 386-4566.
Ability360 continues a three-decades long tradition of empowering programs for people with all disabilities. Ability360 offers and promotes programs to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. The independent living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities. Ability360 is located at 5025 E. Washington St. Ste. 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034, www.ability360.org, 602-256-2245.
ABOUT THE ABILITY360 SPORTS & FITNESS CENTER: The Ability360 Sports and Fitness Center is a 45,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility located in Phoenix, Arizona. Owned and operated by Ability360, the Sports & Fitness Center offers a wide variety of amenities to help you achieve your health and fitness goals including a fitness center with wheelchair accessible weight machines, an aquatic area equipped with lifts and elevators, accessible locker rooms, and more.
For more information, visit www.ability360.org.
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