More than a game: Quad rugby lifts athletes’ spirits

Posted at 9:44 PM, Oct 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-06 21:45:18-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On Sunday, dozens of wheelchair athletes gathered at MSA Fieldhouse for the annual "Thunderfest" quad rugby tournament.

The event is put on by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, and features participants from states like Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York.

"This is the only time we play in the home state. All the rest of the season we're traveling out of state so this is a nice opportunity for our family and friends to come and watch us play," said Christy Vanhaver with Mary Free Bed.

Unlike regular rugby, which is played on grass, this version is played inside, with tape showing the different zones of the field.

"It's really nice to be able to find something that I can participate in. It's really good for emotional release," said athlete David Covey.

"It makes you more adventurous, gets you out and doing more things rather than just sitting at home," said Aaron Burrows, who is participating for the second year.

For more information on the adaptive sports offered by Mary Free Bed, click here.