Three Tasmanians featured in the 2023 Wheelchair Rugby National Championships, held on the Gold Coast between 2 and 4 June – one returning with a winning team title and medal.
Rubie Gallagher, who plays Wheelchair Rugby with ParaQuad Tasmania, took her place in the South Australian Sharks team for the second time at a nationals’ event.
And for the first time, she was part of a gold medal winning performance in Division 2 of the competition, defeating the West Coast Enforcers in the final, 60-47.
“Rubie performed outstandingly,” said her Tasmanian Coach, David Wood.
Above: Rubie Gallagher in action for the SA Sharks. Photo credit: Stephen Tremain.
“Rubie’s court positioning and game standard was at a peak performance. The gold medal result reflected all her hard work training 3-4 times a week back here in Hobart.”
Rubie’s husband Max, who takes part, alongside Rubie in ParaQuad Tasmania’s Wheelchair Rugby program, supported the Sharks in a mechanic role throughout the carnival.
Above: Rubie, front row, fourth from left. Max, back row, first from right. Photo credit: Stephen Tremain.
David himself was also at the Championships, coaching the Qld Tornadoes, also in Division 2.
“It was awesome being exposed to coaching at a higher level,” David reflected.
“The team consisted of past Steeler (Australian) players and upcoming players who are currently in the Steelers Development Program and collectively have years upon years of experience.
“I loved managing the expectations and strategy that we all committed to ahead of the championships. The decision making under pressure from both player & coach is crucial at this level and that’s the challenge I enjoyed most.”
Rubie is part of the Steelers Development program and has an eye on the Paris 2023 Paralympic Games.
She started her Wheelchair Rugby journey in Tasmania with ParaQuad and, both she and David continue to play and coach, sharing their love of the sport in the State.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with our local team back here in Hobart,” said David.
“I have the dream of one day having our own Tassie side take part in the championships.”
Here’s how Tasmanian Coach David Wood (pictured above, centre) describes Wheelchair Rugby:
Wheelchair Rugby is a hybrid of a lot of different sports and was originally created in Canada, with a influence from sports such as American football, NFL and hockey. The game is played indoors on a basketball court. A team has 40 seconds to score a try from one end of the court to the other, they have to bounce the ball every 10 seconds and can pass the ball forward or back as many times as they like within the 40 secs. The opposition can bash and crash as hard as they like to cause a turnover. The game consists of 4x 8 min quarters.
For information about getting involved in Wheelchair Rugby, email email@example.com or call 6272 8816