Basketball Rugby

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The London Annihilators won the 26th annual Best of the West Quad Rugby Tournament in San Diego, beating the Phoenix Heat in the finale. (Left to right): Joe Boudreaux, David Willsie, Cody Caldwell, Travis Murau, Patrice Dagenais, Garett Hickling Back row: Richard Hawkins, Wendy Giroux, Dave Caldwell (the best tire man around)

London Annihilators Wheelchair Rugby

Have you ever wanted to try Wheelchair Rugby (also known as Murderball)? The London Annihilators Wheelchair Rugby Club holds open practices every Saturday at the Dorchester Flight Exec Centre; all skill and participation levels are welcome! Whether you’re new to team sports and looking for a great workout, or you’re a serious competitive athlete looking to make the Canadian National Team, the London Annihilators welcome you to try out our sport.

The London Annihilators have a long and storied history of excellence that spans 32 years! During that time, the team has won six national championships, and seen multiple athletes go on to represent Canada as members of the Canadian National Team. London Annihilators alumni have gone on to win an incredible 24 Paralympic or World Championship medals and have competed across all corners of the globe. Four members of the current team are in the middle of preparations to represent Canada and London at this summer’s Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

Looking to book an exciting demo for your business? The London Annihilators are also a registered charity fully capable of hosting fun, interactive, and engaging demonstrations of our sport! There’s nothing we like more than to share our passion for the game with others. We also take pride in fostering mutually beneficial partnerships with the local business community. Do your part to support your hometown athletes as they go for gold in Rio!

London Wheelchair Basketball Association

The LWBA was formed in 1974 by Keith Cartwright and Gilbert Blanchette. They saw a need for a distinct sports organization that catered to the needs of the disabled citizens of London, Ontario.

We offer outreach programs to schools, we have a junior ‘minis’ program that parents find fun, where sportsmanship and leadership is at the forefront and follows the Sport Canada Long Term Athlete Development Model. We build leaders and mentors and have Paralympic Gold Medallist players and coaches in our program.

Our sport offers both the congenital and newly injured athletes of all ages an opportunity to have Sport4Life and remain active healthy members of society. Athletes can start at a young age and compete for as long as they want. Along that route, there are educational opportunities, leadership and personal growth opportunities, national team opportunities, as well as the opportunity to inspire communities to see the ‘ability’ these athletes possess, and not the ‘disability.’

There are potential athletes in our area that have never been exposed to disabled sport. The minimally disabled athlete who doesn’t use a wheelchair, but cannot compete in sports, needs to know that this could possibly be a lifeline to community involvement knowing that a competitive sport exists for them to play. People with bad knees, ankles, any lower body extremity injury that makes them feel like they are ‘former’ athletes don’t have to feel that way. Our sport is very athletic and challenging. The wheelchair is simply a piece of equipment, not unlike a pair of skis, a golf cart or rowing skull. And there is strength in numbers!

London is fortunate to have current National Team program coach Paul Bowes as its head coach. Mr. Bowes has been coaching since 1987, and has attended five Paralympic Games, has been head coach of the Jr. Men’s National Team in 1997, 2001 and 2013, and is the lead in our Junior Minis program as well as our Senior Program. His leadership and mentorship of young athletes and coaches is far reaching, and he is committed to continue in this role into the foreseeable future.

Our Jr. program is the entry level for younger kids or even newly injured teenagers.

We recently held a Jr. mini camp and tournament in Dorchester against a team from Brampton with resounding success, and the kids are eager for the next tournament.

Canada’s men’s team is the reigning Paralympic Champion and Canada’s women’s team is the reigning World Champion. London Forest City Flyer Darda Sales is part of that gold medal winning team.

For more information on how to get involved, please email or call Billy Langeveld at billylng@quadro.net or Paul Bowes at pbowes4189@rogers.com.

Story submitted by London Annihilators Wheelchair Rugby and London Wheelchair Basketball