Quad rugby championship in Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) You don't have to travel to Atlanta to watch teams competing for a national championship title today. In downtown Louisville a group of world class athletes will showcase their abilities on the court even though they may be disabled.
"We know there's limitations on things we can't do out in the world. I know I can't climb a tree but I ain't worried about it I know I can go up and down the court for 32 minutes," says Brian Kirkland.
Wheelchair Rugby, the sport used to dubbed "Murderball".
"Anytime you can knock somebody over and it's legal ya know, why not," says Kirkland.
Kirkland will be inducted into the sport's hall of fame this weekend. The Alabama native has been playing wheelchair Rugby for the past 21 years since an accident left him with limited mobility in his arms and legs. He leads the team, Lakeshore Demolition.
Teammate, Bob Lujano, lost his arms and legs after contracting a rare form of meningitis as a child.
"The whole objective is to use everything you have to get through life it doesn't matter your level of disability," says Lujano.
The top 16 teams in the nation have spent the week competing in the semifinal rounds before the U-S Quad Rugby Championship game Saturday.
The hard hitting sport requires some durable equipment.
"There's a ram rod in front, there's wings to prevent you from getting hit," describes Lujano.
Specially made wheelchairs are fitted for each competitor. They run $4,000 apiece. Most importantly, the sport is a reflection of how these athletes look at life.
"The running joke is, this is our rehab...I look at what I can do and not what I can't do and if you have that mentality then you don't look at yourself as a person with a disability," says Kirkland.
The Division II Championship game is at 1:30 Saturday. The Division I Championship is at 2:30. Admission is free at the Kentucky International Convention Center.
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