Tuesday 16 July 2019

Local pair off to world wheelchair rugby event

Deborah Coleman

Two County Wicklow athletes have been selected as members of the Irish Wheelchair Rugby Team to represent Ireland in the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships.

Thomas Moylan from Annacurragh and Ciara Staunton from Baltinglass will travel to Sydney, Australia, this week as part of the first Irish team to ever take compete at the world championships.

Thomas plays with the Gaelic Warrior club while Ciara is a member of the Laois Lions.

The world's top 12 teams will play to take home the world title, including a strong Irish team who earned their spot via a qualification tournament which took place in Nottwil, Switzerland in April this year.

Wheelchair Rugby, a Paralympic sport was first introduced to Ireland in 1997. Since then, IWA-Sport, as the national governing body for wheelchair rugby in Ireland, has supported Irish players and clubs, and helped them to grow both at grass-roots level and as a competitive force at the highest international level.

A squad of eight players and four support staff will travel to Sydney to prepare for the opening match against Japan which takes place on Sunday, August 5.

Ireland Team Manager Lunn Cromie said that the team is excited to take on the challenge.

'The Irish Wheelchair Rugby team had an intense and physical year as we competed to qualify for the Gio 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships. We are prepared to take on the challenge and compete against the world's top teams in Sydney.

'However, we need the support of all Irish rugby fans to finalise our attempts to take home the world title. It will cost the squad and support team approximately €20,000 to facilitate the round trip to Australia and we are appealing to our supporters, home towns and all rugby fans to get behind the wheels in green,' he said.

IWA-Sport has a dedicated page accepting donations from individuals and organisations which will assist the Irish Wheelchair Rugby team to make history in Australia this summer.

To make a donation, for further information about Wheelchair Rugby or the upcoming IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships, visit:

Wicklow People