• Creating Opportunity, Building Community – Women’s Wheelchair Rugby

  • Nathan Bragg  |  January 13, 2024

By supporting BC Wheelchair Sports, you provide vital funds that allow us to create opportunities for athletes with disabilities. Sport is more than trophies or wins and losses; it’s about bringing together, striving for goals, and finding a sense of belonging and purpose. In the mixed-gender sport of Wheelchair Rugby, more girls and women are discovering that than ever before.

This year, we helped send four female athletes and two female coaches to the Women’s Cup in Paris, where they were part of the first-ever Canadian women’s team to compete on the world stage inspiring the next generation and bringing home the bronze medal. One of those athletes was Jessica Kruger, who’s been involved in our rugby programs for many years.

“It was an incredible honor to be able to play as Canada’s Women’s team, and so unbelievably exciting to see that the sport is embracing it’s female athletes in this way.”- Jessica Kruger

When Jessica started playing, there were only a couple of women playing BC, but she still felt incredibly supported by the wheelchair rugby community as it helped her adjust to a spinal cord injury and embrace a new community.

“Wheelchair rugby has played a humongous role in my ability to embrace life after spinal cord injury. It has provided me with a community of individuals who understand the complexities of this life, and so many examples of real people that have flourished with disabilities.”- Jessica Kruger

Over the past two years, the number of women playing wheelchair rugby in BC has more than doubled, in part due to BCWSA’s commitment to creating inclusive and supportive environments within our sports and programs and the work of athletes and coaches to recruit, mentor and support more athletes in the sport, regardless of their gender.

“The increased inclusion of women and girls in wheelchair rugby has been so fabulous to see, especially the commitment from BCWSA. I’m so excited to see all the new girls and women join our sport while having fun, thriving and feeling supported”-BCWSA Athlete Julia Hanes.

One of these newer athletes is Marta Pawlik, who’s used rugby as a powerful tool in her physical rehabilitation and as a social outlet. She continues improving and has become one of the sport’s biggest recruiters encouraging others to get active and involved. 

“Wheelchair Rugby has provided me with a sense of belonging, guidance, good friends, and big laughs.”

You can help support vibrant, supportive communities and help more people with disabilities connect and grow through sport by donating to BC Wheelchair Sports! Donations help us remove barriers to participation in sport for athletes with disabilities, from ensuring programs are affordable and supporting events that build community and let athletes thrive to purchasing equipment so that participants of a range of sizes, ages, and abilities can play the sports they love safely and comfortably.

Your support matters and makes a real difference. Every little bit helps, and it only takes a moment to change someone’s life for the better!