Home > Wheelchair rugby: “I love this game, it is just completely different to any other sport”

Wheelchair rugby: “I love this game, it is just completely different to any other sport”

A woman with pinkish hair wearing a yellow sports bib and moving around a sports hall in her wheelchair
Victoria Lacy

Wheelchair rugby: "I love this game, it is just completely different to any other sport"

As part of our series looking at various sports in the Paralympics and Olympics we went to visit the Crawley Jets – a wheelchair rugby team that is part of Crawley Rugby Club.

There we learnt more about the sport and why the members take part. 

This article is one of a series of articles. You can watch a video of the Crawley Jets here.

For Victoria Lacy, known as V by her teammates, the last three months since she joined Crawley Jets has been ‘absolutely brilliant’.

“I love this game, it is just completely different to any other sport,” the 50-year-old mum of two says. “I can’t believe I did not try it before. You have just got to give it a go.”

The sport is a full-contact sport and can be quite brutal as the wheelchairs crash into each other.

“I am alright as I can’t feel the bottom of my legs in these chairs, but if I did….” laughs V, “but as I can’t feel them I can whack as hard as you like and see what happens.”

V plays a number of different wheelchair sports and says you often find there is a crossover between the people who take part.

“I was doing basketball and never even contemplated anything rugby, but I am so pleased I came along,” she says.

“It is absolutely brilliant for getting rid of those frustrations. If you have had a bit of a day, you have had some run-ins with people, and you come here and it is like, yeah,” she smiles.

V is the first one to admit she has a range of ‘complex’ health conditions, ranging from having no hip or knee sockets, being hypermobile, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis, and she has undergone a triple heart bypass and has a mechanical valve following heart attacks.

“When you are home you can get quite isolated so doing all the sports not only are you not the only friend in a chair, everyone is on the same playing field,” she explains.

“Everybody will take the mick out of each other, whether you are on the floor or doing something silly. 

“And it is the best one because you are not trying to do able-bodied stuff as such. Everyone is on an even keel, with lots of different conditions.

“Sometimes you are having a good day, sometimes you are not, but hopefully by the time you get home you are going to feel more like life is better.” 

There are two wheelchair rugby teams in Sussex – the Crawley Jets which practice at the K2 in Crawley on a Monday evening, and the Brighton Buccaneers who play at The Sports Centre, at the Falmer Campus at the University of Brighton.

To find out how you can get involved in wheelchair rugby, visit https://gbwr.org.uk/

Or for more information about the Crawley Jets, visit https://www.crawleyrfc.com/teams/234316/the-team

Read how Crawley Jets came about here

Read about why Crawley Jets player Trish Duffy plays the sport

Read how you can benefit from wheelchair rugby whatever your age

Skip to content