RIO 2016 Paralympic gold medallist’s opened this year’s Frankston Festival of Rugby with the intense, end-to-end Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Classic.
For the first time in the Frankston Festival’s history, the Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Classic was played at the Frankston Basketball Centre, Seaford on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October.
With Australia currently ranked world number one in wheelchair rugby, the full contact sport attracted four Victorian teams as well as a New South Wales side.
Disability Sport and Recreation wheelchair rugby officer, Jason Lees, said the event gained great support and was highly competitive.
“The event went really well and the team from NSW were really supportive of it and want to come back next year,” Lees said.
“The Victorian Rugby Union has gotten behind us as well as the Frankston City Council to continue to run this event.
“We want to make this something that grows and have it bigger and better next year to show what the sport is about.
“We were really happy to put this event on in Frankston, and hopefully in the future more people will get out and see the sport for what it is and enjoy it.”
In the final, the Harlequins Rugby Club defeated the Unicorns 27-22, with Harlequins player, Matt Lewis, awarded most valuable player of the tournament.
The Wheelchair Rugby Classic was contested by both males and females and didn’t have an age restriction.
“The youngest player we probably had there was a 16-year-old Box Hill player, Thomas Klein. He’s been playing for 12 months and is still in high school,” Lees said.
“If you’re good enough to play then you’ll get selected.”