From news release
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The largest co-ed wheelchair rugby tournament in the country is headed here this weekend.
The best 16 teams in the United States will come to the UW Health Sports Factory from Friday through Sunday to vie for the crown of national champion. There will be 41 games taking place over the three-day U.S. Wheelchair Rugby Association National Championship tournament.
“Our partnership has led to our facility being the host site for the National Tournament for a second time, again bringing athletes from all around the country to our facility,” said Derek Papich, UW Health Sports Factory program supervisor, in a news release. “This is a high-energy sport that is amazing to watch.”
The tournaments is open to the public and there is no cost to spectate.
Opening ceremonies start at 8:50 a.m. Friday with the first game beginning at 9 a.m. Games continue throughout the weekend with the last game played at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Awards will follow afterwards featuring the athletes and tournament directors.
The Oscar Mike Foundation, a Marengo-based nonprofit that helps keep injured military veterans active, is hosting the tournament and competing. It is the only sanctioned wheelchair rugby team comprised of military veterans that competes in the association.
“These athletes have excelled in the tough sport of rugby to get to these finals. Their passion, athleticism, drive and excellence are apparent as they compete,” said Lindsay Arellano, vice president of sales and servicing at the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a news release.
The tournament is estimated to spur $265,000 in economic activity over the weekend.
The U.S. Wheelchair Rugby Association features more than 40 teams with more than 500 athletes across the country. There will be 160 athletes in Rockford this weekend.
Additional information about the tournament can be found at uswra.org.