Monday 20 February 2017

Rugby stars, including Jamie Heaslip and Felix Jones, to travel across Ireland in wheelchairs for new documentary

Published 07/10/2015 | 15:05

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip

Well known names in Irish rugby including Jamie Heaslip will travel from Dublin to Limerick in wheelchairs to raise awareness about disability access.

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Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones, Shane Byrne and David Wallace are set to take part in the eye-opening documentary, which will air on TV3.

‘Rugby’s Wheelchair Challenge’ sees these sporting legends make their way from Dublin’s Aviva Stadium to Limerick’s Thomond Park confined to a wheelchair.

The one-off documentary hopes to raise awareness about the frustrations and challenges people confined to wheelchairs experience everyday.

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip

The project was initiated by accessibility advocate Stephen Cluskey, a wheelchair user and accessibility advocate.

In the episode, Irish vice-captain Jamie Heaslip will also speak openly about fracturing three vertebrae earlier this year and what this could have meant for him.

"We play a fairly physical sport and we are all well aware that accidents can happen but that really brought it home to me. People are playing a sport they love and in moments their life can change. That’s why I am here today to really get a feel first-hand what it’s like for people in wheelchairs trying to travel around Dublin and Ireland," Jamie said of the endeavour.

Munster's full back Felix Jones was also injured in 2009.

Felix Jones
Felix Jones

"I was tremendously lucky there was no damage to my neck cord and I returned to play in just over a year. I know I’m going to sit in this chair and I’ll be out of it after a couple of hours and I’ll be back training in the morning but when I sit in it, I’ll be thinking this could have been my chair," he said.

Jamie, Felix, Shane and David must attempt to use buses, trains and taxis, as well as pure muscle, to journey on a road less travelled.

Felix Jones and Stephen Cluskey
Felix Jones and Stephen Cluskey

‘Rugby’s Wheelchair Challenge’ airs Friday October 9th at 10.30pm on TV3

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