Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby

Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Limited (GBWR) is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the game of wheelchair rugby in England, Scotland and Wales. It is a registered charity[1] and company limited by guarantee[2]. GBWR is a full member of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) and of the British Paralympic Association (BPA). GBWR is funded through public, commercial and individual investment. GBWR’s mission is to build wheelchair rugby communities where athletes, officials and volunteers all enjoy being part of a team. It is a values based organization which aims to be inclusive, accessible and supportive of all who wish to be part of the sport.

Wheelchair rugby is a London 2012 legacy success story and GBWR has grown the sport from a domestic league with a single division comprised of 7 teams, to one which now has 3 divisions providing competition opportunities for 20 teams. The domestic league is internationally recognised for its high level of competition. It regularly sees international players from Europe joining domestic teams which strengthens the level of competition. The domestic league culminates with the Roma Sport sponsored National Championships.

GBWR offers the sport for young people. Our junior programme provides an opportunity for those aged 12-17 years to experience wheelchair rugby in a junior-only environment and currently has over 90 youngsters playing the game regularly. In addition, GBWR delivers programmes in all national Spinal Injury Units and in military rehabilitation centres, in conjunction with the charity ‘Help for Heroes’. GBWR provides the coaching and support for the Invictus wheelchair rugby team, where Great Britain took the gold medal in 2015.

In the last 2 years GBWR has developed a new discipline of the game aimed at attracting those with greater functionality than the Paralympic discipline permits. Wheelchair Rugby 5s allows us to reach more people with wheelchair rugby. Although in its infancy, the discipline has proved popular with new teams developing across the country.

The GB national team are the current European Champions, having taken the gold medal a record total of 6 times since 1995, and are currently ranked 5th in the world. GB achieved 4th position at the 2018 IWRF World Championships in Sydney, Australia.

GBWR activities are funded through a mix of government, National Lottery and commercial funding through sponsorship agreements. Sport England recognised the success of GBWR’s grassroots delivery with a 4 year award totalling £1.4M. Having lost UK Sport funding for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games cycle, the GB team initiated the #saveGBWR fundraising campaign which garnered publicity through media and public support, helping us to provide a competitive programme for the GB team. In addition to the aforementioned partners, GBWR has secured a number of commercial partnerships, including BT and LMAX Exchange, and support from the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. GBWR also has a long-standing partnership with the Rugby Football Union, which provides a generous donation and value-in-kind office services; links with the rugby community are further strengthened through club partnerships including Leicester Tigers, Gloucester, Canterbury and others.

[1] Charity Commission Registration Number: 1130038

[2] Company Number 6108379