It's no secret to those who play wheelchair rugby that the sport benefits athletes both on and off the court. People with disabilities who play wheelchair sports have been shown to have fewer hospital stays, fewer secondary health complications, less stress and depression, more friends, a greater chance of living independently and more community involvement than people with disabilities who are inactive.
Recently, however, researchers have started to document these benefits. A study just released in the journal Theraputic Recreation Journal by Lyn G. Litchke, Jan S. Hodges, Eric A. Schmidt, Lisa K. Lloyd, Emily Payne and Christopher J. Russian closely studied five wheelchair rugby players and found that wheelchair rugby significantly benefitted them both physically and mentally.
Here's an excerpt:
Sean responded to the question “Would you change your current situation for any thing in the world?”
No, not even to walk again! I would not be here today if it was not for being disabled. Being able to go out and hit people. Just hitting people makes me feel better. I really love the full contact. Getting at the end of the court and being 90 lbs. and hitting the biggest guy and knowing I am going to fly off him not making that much damage. When you get that magic hit, the one where he did not see you coming you wait all season for that. You think it is a normal guy thing. I love hitting someone as hard as I can. It does make a difference in my life.
To read the study, click here.