Unified rugby comes to Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- One nonprofit in Charlottesville is making huge strides in adaptive sports.
“Our founder and president Alexis Ward started this whole project sort of last year. She had torn her ACL and she loved rugby and she also has been interested in working with people with disabilities and she put all of the energy into starting unified rugby,” said Carrie Morrison, the Vice President and head coach of Charlottesville Cardinals Unified Rugby.
Last summer, the Cardinals became a nonprofit in the Charlottesville community. Many of the volunteers are members of the women’s rugby team at the University of Virginia.
“Our mission is to make rugby more inclusive for everyone. We believe that anyone can play rugby, no matter their abilities. So our goal is to not only expand our team but make it more accessible for everyone everywhere,” Morrison said.
Gretchen Ladds, one of the players shares some of her favorite parts of the sports.
“What are your three favorite things about rugby? Three different things. Do you like passing,” Morrison asked.
“Passing! Pass the ball. Kick it. I can kick it far over there at the goalie,” said Ladds.
Casandra Wenderl, a mother of players on the team, says it gives her sons a way to compete against each other and play a sport together.
“My oldest participates in Special Olympics. And then we were really excited that this would be an opportunity for him and his brother to be able to play a sport together. And it’s been a fantastic experience. I mean, they love it. They can compete, they can you know join forces and they love just being able to have a sport that they can do together,” she said.
And now there's a big event coming up.
“April 30, we’re going to be having the first unified rugby tournament in the country, which is really exciting. There currently are three other teams in the country. We will be going to D.C. and competing against them which is really exciting,” Morrison said.
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