Resort centre hosts international teams

Wheelchair rugby is coming to Blackpool

Wheelchair rugby is coming to Blackpool

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Blackpool is to play host to an international wheelchair rugby league tournament this month.

Blackpool Sports Centre has been named as the venue for this year’s Celtic Cup, competed for by wheelchair rugby teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The tournament has expanded from just Scotland and Ireland last year and will see all three teams competing for the trophy.

The competition will take place throughout Saturday April 30, with the first match starting at 11am and the two others going on throughout the afternoon.

Much like conventional rugby league, wheelchair rugby league involves getting the ball over the try line and adhering to the normal tackling phases, although conversions are completed by punching the ball over the posts and tackles completed by ripping a tag off an opponents shoulder.

Tickets to watch the day’s action are available to buy on the day at £3 for adults, while under 16s and concessions can watch for free.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for Blackpool Council (pictured), said: “It’s great to be able to welcome teams from all corners of the United Kingdom to come and play international sport in Blackpool. We have a great reputation for disability sport in Blackpool and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the best disabled rugby players in the country going head to head over the day-long tournament.

“There are still tickets available to buy and I’d encourage everybody to come along and take in the matches.”
 Malcolm Kielty MBE, Rugby League Ireland wheelchair squad manager, said: “Wheelchair Rugby League is a unique sport, it allows both male and female disabled participants to play with and against those without disabilities, plus it allows for mixed ages, all this is because the game uses the tag method of tackling whilst staying true to the rules of the national game of rugby league.

“Since its introduction in the UK in 2005 this fast paced, skilful use of sports wheelchairs, ball handling yet with competitive, safe collisions, makes for a great spectacle.”