65 Towpath Lane

Rochester, NY 14618

WNY Wreckers

The WNY Wreckers were founded in the summer of 2013 and have been continually active since that point. The team was founded by several quadriplegics who wanted to be able to play wheelchair rugby, so they started their own team. Besides the Wreckers, there is only one other wheelchair rugby team in all of New York State and the nearest team is actually in Canada. While Rochester, NY, has a strong base of adapted sports for individuals with disabilities, with longstanding organizations like the Rochester Rookies, Rochester Wheels, and SportsNet, and newer organizations like Rochester Adaptive Adventures, there are very few options for individuals with quadriplegia. Access to gyms and exercise equipment is improving, but is still limited for people with physical disabilities. With such limited options for exercise or competitive sport, health and fitness suffers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "People with disabilities can find it more difficult to eat healthy, control their weight, and be physically active. This might be due to: - A lack of healthy food choices. - Difficulty with chewing or swallowing food, or its taste or texture. - Medications that can contribute to weight gain, weight loss, and changes in appetite. - Physical limitations that can reduce a person’s ability to exercise. - Pain. - A lack of energy. - A lack of accessible environments (for example, sidewalks, parks, and exercise equipment) that can enable exercise. - A lack of resources (for example, money, transportation, and social support from family, friends, neighbors, and community members)." The WNY Wreckers help people overcome some of those barriers in a competitive, fun, peer-based setting. The WNY Wreckers have been successful in creating and sustaining a wheelchair rugby team for people with various forms of quadriplegia in the Greater Rochester area. Through networking with other teams, the Wreckers were able to secure a number of badly used rugby wheelchairs in January of 2014 in order to actually start playing rugby. Grant writing, events, and individual and corporate sponsorships have allowed the team to purchase better equipment, in an effort to become competitive. One of the great elements of wheelchair rugby is that it is a fiercely competitive, full-contact sport. One of the challenges, is also that it is a fiercely competitive, full-contact sport. The wheelchairs used in rugby are specially built for the sport and can sustain a great deal of damage, but sooner or later, the damage becomes too great and the chair is no longer functional. The Wreckers have been forced to retire some rugby chairs and other chairs are approaching their end. Additionally, prospective players that have expressed interest in joining the Wreckers do not adequately fit the rugby chairs the team has available.

We focus on: Human Services, Health

Where we are: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates


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