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Wheelchair rugby a 'landmark moment' for inclusive provision - Tavender

Programme manager Kris Tavender believes this week’s launch of the Bristol Bears and Bristol Cubs Wheelchair Rugby Clubs is ‘a landmark moment’ for inclusive sports provision in the city.

The junior club, Bristol Cubs, held their inaugural training session at Ashton Park Sports Centre on Tuesday evening, with the adult Bristol Bears kicking off their programme at the same venue tonight (Thursday, 21st September) – and Tavender is predicting a ‘bright future’ for the sport in Bristol.

“The launch of wheelchair rugby here in Bristol is truly a landmark point in time for inclusive provision, both in Bristol and at the Bristol Rugby Community Foundation,” he said.

“Working extensively in partnership with Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and our funding partners, Premiership Rugby, Comic Relief and Bristol Sport Foundation, it is great to bring all of this together right on the doorstep of Ashton Gate Stadium at Ashton Park Sports Centre."

“Across all of our inclusive provision, wheelchair rugby provides one of the most unique access points for disabled young people and adults alike - offering a truly level playing field for wheelchair and non-wheelchair users, participants with learning difficulties and even as far as their siblings and friends to all partake in truly meaningful sport together.

“With the new teams - the Bristol Bears (adults) and the Bristol Cubs (juniors) - both the immediate and long-term future of wheelchair rugby in Bristol is very, very bright, beginning with the National Youth Tournament in November at the home of the Paralympics, the Stoke Mandeville Stadium.”

"The launch of wheelchair rugby here in Bristol is truly a landmark point in time for inclusive provision both in Bristol and at the Bristol Rugby Community Foundation."

Kris Tavender, programme manager

The Bristol Bears (adult) is open to physically disabled men and women over the age of 16, catering for all abilities, with sessions every Thursday (8pm-10pm) at Ashton Park Sports Centre.

The club’s junior section runs every Tuesday (5pm-7pm) at the same venue.

For more information, or to get involved, email Kris Tavender (ktavender@bristolrugby.co.uk).

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