Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Jesters Bring Wheelchair Rugby To Harlequins

Posted on 13 February 2020 by Muireann Duffy
Harlequins Jesters get ready to face Crawley Jets

Harlequins Jesters 21 – Crawley Jets 22

The final result did little to dampen the spirit of the Harlequins Jesters after they narrowly lost to the Crawley Jets in their first ever match on Tuesday.

The home-side were slower off the mark, trailing by three after the first quarter, but did well to pull even at nine-a-piece before half-time.

It was nip-and-tuck between the sides in the final two quarters, but the visiting Jets managed to edge the victory, with the Jesters just missing the chance to equalise in the closing seconds of the game.

The team was set up with the support of the Harlequins’ Foundation and Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR), following a series of taster-sessions run by Richmond Council.

The Jesters aim to offer people the opportunity to get active, make friends and have fun while doing so.

The full-impact sport, often referred to as ‘Murderball’ because of the heavy collisions, is played in reinforced wheelchairs with a round ball. The aim of the game is to wheel across the opposition try line with the ball in-hand for a score.

Speaking to Sports Gazette after the match, Harlequins’ Foundation Development Officer, Kirsty Openshaw said she was hugely proud of her side’s performance.

“It’s hard not to be proud, look how close the score was. It was a great game and I’m delighted,” said Openshaw.

“I think it’s really important for the players to be able to compete, because that’s a major part of every sport and this is no different. They played really well and I’m sure all the players will be happy with their performances.”