USA Rugby is thrilled to announce a monumental partnership with Paralympic counterpart USA Wheelchair Rugby. “We have discussed the possibility of working together for years and to see it come true is a big step for us,” USA Wheelchair Rugby Head Coach James Gumbert said. “A partnership with USA Rugby will certainly have an immediate impact on the sport.” To date, the United States Wheelchair Rugby team is the most successful team in international competition, most recently winning the gold medal at the 2013 Americas Championship. With similar goals, USA Wheelchair Rugby seeks to establish a standard of excellence and continue a tradition of success by developing athletes, staff and teams through education and training. “We are delighted to partner with our Paralympic sport in supporting the growth of Rugby in the United States,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer and President of Rugby Operations Nigel Melville said. “Together, both organizations will work to take the podium in their respective versions of the sport.”
USA Rugby Trust is looking to assist USA Wheelchair Rugby in raising $100,000 in 2014. These funds will help the organization with player development, identification, and training. “This partnership is exciting for many reasons, including the opportunity it creates to increase public awareness and positively impact fundraising for both sports,” said Jeff Underwood, president of Lakeshore Foundation, the home of USA Wheelchair Rugby. Lakeshore has managed the U.S. Paralympic rugby program for the United States Olympic Committee for several years. “From our perspective, this partnership is a great step in growing this exciting sport, and that helps our organization achieve the very important goal of furthering the Paralympic movement.” “I can confidently speak for the whole team in saying that we are excited to become partners with USA Rugby and all that they stand for,” USA Wheelchair Rugby captain Joe Delagrave said. “With this partnership, I feel that USA Wheelchair Rugby can reach new heights on the Road to Rio never before imagined.”
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