2017 GIO Wheelchair Rugby National Championship and GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship Official Test Event wrap up

In the first week of August 2017, six of the world’s finest wheelchair rugby teams clearly showed why wheelchair rugby isn’t your regular seat at the rugby!!

While Wheelchair Rugby National Championships are held annually in Australia, this year’s event was unique in that there were two Championships on offer - the 2017 GIO Wheelchair Rugby National Championship and the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship Official Test Event.

The reason for the enhanced competition, is that next year Australia will host the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship; and as with all major international sporting championships it is customary to have an Official Test Event to trial and evaluate all key event components such as accommodation, ground transport and competition. Photo accreditation was also trialled, as was the sports presentation that will be implemented during the World Championship next August.
 

Competition took place from Wednesday 2 – Friday 4 August, with Australia’s top state teams going head-to-head with national teams from Canada, Japan and New Zealand in the 2017 GIO Wheelchair Rugby National Championship.

With more than 1,000 primary and high-school students attending as part of the Schools Program run by Disability Sports Australia’s event partner – Wheelchair Sports NSW, the atmosphere was terrific, with the students enthusiastically supporting the teams on court.

After a tightly contested game on Friday night, the 2016 champions - the GIO NSW Gladiators  (68) defeated Victoria Protect Thunder (52), and were again crowned National Champions.

The following day competition moved next door to the Genea Netball Centre, where all six (6) teams vied for the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship Official Test Event Trophy.

The Bronze Medal Game saw the GIO NSW Gladiators take on Team Canada. At full-time, the score was 65 – 54, in favour of the GIO NSW Gladiators.

This game was followed by the Gold Medal Game between Japan and Victoria Protect Thunder. Following an enthralling game of world-class wheelchair rugby, Japan was victorious (54 to 49) and were awarded the title of GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship Official Test Event Champions, with Victoria Protect Thunder taking home silver.

All games were filmed and live streamed for viewers around the world and the archived matches can be viewed HERE.
 

Critical to the successful delivery of the event was the incredible commitment and willingness of some 50 civilian volunteers and 20 Australian Defense Force (primarily Royal Australian Navy) personnel. Many of these volunteers assisted not only on competition days, but also in the lead-up to and after the event, performing pick ‘n’ pack and driving duties.

We look forward to seeing you next year at the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship, 5-10 August 2018, where the top twelve teams from around the world will descend on Sydney Olympic Park and compete for the coveted title of the IWRF World Champions, which is currently held by the hosts, Australia!

Full Results

Day 1-Wednesday 2nd August - Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre
Time Team A (Light) vs Team B (Dark) Score
10:30 Opening Ceremony
11:30 Suncorp QLD Cyclones vs GIO NSW Gladiators 46 - 66
13:15 Victoria Protect Thunder vs Japan 54 - 57
15:00 Canada vs New Zealand 54 - 44
16:45 GIO NSW Gladiators vs Victoria Protect Thunder 57 - 62
Day 2 - Thursday 3rd August - Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre
Time Team A (Light) vs Team B (Dark) Score
10:00 Japan vs New Zealand 48 - 42
11:45 Victoria Protect Thunder vs Suncorp QLD Cyclones 57 - 48
13:30 GIO NSW Gladiators vs Japan 50 - 58
15:15 Canada vs Victoria Protect Thunder 53 - 60
17:00 New Zealand vs GIO NSW Gladiators 53 - 60
18:45 Canada vs Suncorp QLD Cyclones 58 - 49
Day 3 - Friday 4th August - Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre
Time Team A (Light) vs Team B (Dark) Score
10:00 Victoria Protect Thunder vs New Zealand 55 - 51
11:45 Suncorp QLD Cyclones vs Japan 35- 58
13:30 GIO NSW Gladiators vs Canada 60 - 61
15:15 Suncorp QLD Cyclones vs New Zealand 49 - 56
17:00 Japan vs Canada 59 - 49
18:30 Family and Friends Night Court Time
19:30 Victoria Protect Thunder vs GIO NSW Gladiators 52 - 68
Day 4 - Saturday 5th August - Genea Netball Centre
Time Team A (Light) vs Team B (Dark) Score
11:00 New Zealand vs Suncorp QLD Cyclones 56 - 45
13:00 Canada vs GIO NSW Gladiators 54 - 65
15:00 Celebrity Match
16:30 Japan vs Victoria Protect Thunder 54 -49
18:30 Medal Presentation

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