World Cup winners launch new Bedford Tigers wheelchair rugby side

Image: Bedford Tigers RLFC / Facebook

Bedford Tigers – the town’s premier rugby league side – are taking a step into disability sport as they launch their brand new wheelchair rugby team.

Last Sunday, the University of Bedfordshire hosted the first ever training session for wheelchair rugby players with the help of the English World Cup winning side from November 2022.

A tight 28-24 victory for England against France in Manchester helped secure the title of World Champions, and the coaching staff who helped mastermind that victory were at the Bedford campus to welcome new players and run the historic training session.

Anyone can play

You do not need to be registered as disabled to play, as the sport welcomes both able bodied and disabled players.

The session is open to absolutely anyone who wants to give the sport a try and is free to watch and participate in for players of any gender, age or ability.

Rob Ashton of Bedford Tigers RLFC commented on the exciting new addition to the club.

“The beauty of this sport is that we can have fully able bodied players playing alongside double leg amputees and everyone is on an even playing field.

“It’s a huge first for the town and we want to provide a social, fun and inclusive sporting outlet to disability athletes from the town and region.”

The town’s new Mayor, Tom Wootton, was also in attendance to open the session that was well attended and provides a fantastic platform for all to become involved in rugby league.

The session took place in the Arena Sports Hall at the Polhill Campus of the University of Bedfordshire on Sunday and will continue in June.

Cup victory for Men

While the wheelchair rugby sessions add a new dynamic to the ever-growing club that is Bedford Tigers, the Men have already started their new season and bounced back from an opening day league defeat against Wests Warriors to win in the cup.

A 46-14 win against Anglian Vipers saw the Tigers through to the second round of East Cup as they ran in eight tries at Wymondham Rugby Club but lost out 44-12 to Brentwood Eels in the league on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the club also launched their Under 16s Girls Academy allowing young players to take the pathway all the way through to the club’s Super League South team who were successful in a pre-season friendly against Nottingham Outlaws.