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RML try out With Coventry’s Wheelchair Rugby Team

Our rugby enthusiast CEO Simon Kidney giving the wheelchair rugby a go!

Robinson Manufacturing sponsor Coventry Rugby’s Wheelchair Rugby team as part of a wider partnership with the club. As a gesture of thanks for the support for the team, we were invited to try it out for ourselves this weekend.

A number of the company’s senior leadership team made the trip up to the Xcel Leisure Centre in Coventry with their families to join one of the weekly training sessions with the wheelchair athletes, who came first in the 2019 GB Wheelchair Rugby 5’s contest.

And what an experience it was!

Not only were we made very welcome by the team, but none of us had any idea how much fun we were going to have.

The wheelchairs the teams use are like nothing any of us had seen before, and watching the squad practice as we arrived was, frankly, terrifying – and the force with which tackling players smash their wheelchairs into each other is deafening!

Before long, we were allocated wheelchairs, split into two teams alongside some of Coventry team, and given a briefing by team coach Mandip Sehmi. Then we were off – over an hour of frantic, exhausting wheelchair rugby, like nothing any of us has experienced before.

 “It was truly humbling to be allowed to experience the sport I love through the physical limitations of serious disability. My team and I are hugely grateful for the opportunity this gave us to see the world through a different lens, and very proud to be in a position to support the ongoing development of this amazing sport,” RML’s CEO Simon Kidney “The massive upper body strength required was a bit of a shock – I thought I was already fit – but most of all it was enormously good fun!”

In conversations between RML staff and members of the wheelchair team, we also came to understand more about the important role sport can play in the lives of those with disabilities. Simon concluded: “A team sport like rugby builds physical and social confidence as well as providing the opportunity to excel at something. Whether it’s in the Championship, at kid’s camp or in the wheelchair rugby arena makes no difference and we’re really proud to be able to Support Coventry Rugby’s endeavours.”

The Coventry Rugby Foundation is dedicated towards making rugby accessible to the whole of the city’s community. The Wheelchair Rugby team has quickly become a successful flagship programme for the Foundation and there is plenty of potential for its impact to grow and grow.