Can you believe we’re just a year away from the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games? Birmingham is getting a preview with the Lakeshore Foundation’s Four Nations Wheelchair Rugby Invitational May 22-25. Here’s what you’ll see. Plus, it’s free!
What is wheelchair rugby?
- Wheelchair rugby is the only full-contact wheelchair sport–a combination of rugby, hockey, basketball and handball.
- It’s played on a basketball court.
- It’s intense–athletes are encouraged to knock opposing team members to the ground.
- All athletes have a physical disability that affects three or more limbs.
- It’s co-ed.
What is the Lakeshore Foundation?
- Lakeshore is a nonprofit based in Homewood whose mission is to enable people with physical disability and chronic health conditions to lead healthy, active, and independent lifestyles through physical activity, sport, recreation, advocacy, policy, and research.
- It’s home to an official Olympic and Paralympic training facility, with 92 fitness and recreation programs.
- The organization is currently working on 14 local, national and global advocacy initiatives and 20 research projects.
What is the tournament?
- The tournament at Lakeshore is featuring four of the top five wheelchair rugby teams in the world: the U.S., Great Britain, Japan and Australia.
- It’s the only international wheelchair rugby tournament the U.S. will host prior to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
- It’s free to attend!
When is the tournament?
Below are the dates and times:
Wednesday, May 22
- 10 a.m. USA vs. Great Britain
- 12 p.m. Japan vs. Australia
- 3 p.m. Great Britain vs. Japan
- 5 p.m. Australia vs. USA
Thursday, May 23
- 10 a.m. Great Britain vs. Australia
- 12 p.m. Japan vs. USA
- 3 p.m. USA vs. Great Britain
- 5 p.m. Australia vs. Japan
Friday, May 24
- 12 p.m. USA vs. Japan
- 2 p.m. Great Britain vs. Australia
- 5 p.m. Japan vs. Great Britain
- 7 p.m. Australia vs. USA
Saturday, May 25
- 10 a.m. Bronze Medal Game
- 1 p.m. Gold Medal Game
If you’re looking to watch some competitive sports this Memorial Day weekend, head to the Lakeshore Foundation. Matches are taking place Wednesday through Saturday. You can also catch them on Lakeshore’s YouTube channel!