Quad rugby athletes gather for Jacksonville tournament

This summer, Jacksonville, FL saw the return of the Summer Slam Quad Rugby, an event that has doubled in attendance since it started eight years ago. Organized by the Brooks Rehabilitation Center, athletes travel from all across the East Coast to participate in “quad rugby” or rugby where the players all use wheelchairs. The players take the game seriously, fighting aggressively for each win. Some of the athletes hope to join the US Olympic quad rugby team. For many of the athletes, quad rugby has helped them to see that using a wheelchair can be accompanied by joy and excitement. Following a car accident and spinal injury that resulted in him needing to use a wheelchair, Chris Hull turned to the game as a source of positive motivation. Looking back, Hull explains, “Once I found [quad rugby] it was really easy to turn my life into something fun and enjoyable.”

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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.