Ottawa Stingers Wheelchair Rugby

[music playing] NARRATOR: Anthony and
Victoria bring you this AMI This Week Short Cut. [music playing] But next on the
agenda, Victoria, do you know anything
about murderball? VICTORIA NOLAN:
Well, I know enough that it’s called wheelchair
rugby and not murderball anymore. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN: Ah, tried
to catch you on that one. The name was changed years
ago, and for good reason. VICTORIA NOLAN: But
what hasn’t changed is the driving intensity
of wheelchair rugby. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN: Absolutely. It is a rough and
powerful sport. And in order to
play, the players need to be in top
physical condition. VICTORIA NOLAN: The Ottawa
Stingers wheelchair rugby club boast some impressive
athletes that take their fitness to the next
level, and with good reason. The co-captain of the national
team is one of its members. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN: Reporter
Shelby Travers dropped in on one of his workouts
and a Stingers practice. COACH: Go. Come on, come on. Go, go. Come on, come on, come on. SHELBY TRAVERS: For
Patrice Dagenais, the training never stops. PATRICE DAGENAIS:
I train so hard because I want to stay in
peak physical condition. SHELBY TRAVERS: The once
aspiring junior hockey player knows what it means
to be in peak physical shape. COACH: Let’s go. Two more. Up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up. SHELBY TRAVERS: There
was a time, however, that wasn’t possible. A construction accident in
2003, when he was just 18, left him a quadriplegic. PATRICE DAGENAIS: It took
about a year and a half after my injury where I wasn’t
really regaining any function. So I had to accept the
fact that I’d be in a chair and probably have to
try a different sport. SHELBY TRAVERS: The different
sport he trains for today? Wheelchair rugby. PATRICE DAGENAIS: Wheelchair
rugby is a fun sport. It’s fast paced. It’s a contact sport. So we can hit each other with
our chairs as hard as we want. PLAYER: Tight, tight, tight. Lead, lead, lead. PATRICE DAGENAIS: All
those mixed together is just a great combination. SHELBY TRAVERS: His love
for the sport led him to becoming president of the
Ottawa Stingers wheelchair rugby club. PATRICE DAGENAIS: I’ve always
enjoyed being a leader. So once the president
of the club, I think, retired at one point,
the spot was open. And I said I’d be interested
in becoming the president. SHELBY TRAVERS: The Stingers
were founded in 1980 and were only the
second city in Ontario to have a team at that time. PATRICE DAGENAIS:
We’re a club team. But we can compete in
probably the Division 2 teams around the world. It’s a level that allows us
to play in different style tournaments, which is fun. Because we have the choice of
choosing where we want to play. SHELBY TRAVERS: One of
the goals for the club is to develop
players who may go on to play at the provincial
or national level. PATRICE DAGENAIS: Two of us
are on the national team. We’ve got four or five that
play for the provincial team and some that just
want to play for fun. SHELBY TRAVERS: One of
those people playing for fun is Julia Hanes. JULIA HANES: OK. Coming. Oh! SHELBY TRAVERS: The
second year University of Ottawa medical
student took up wheelchair rugby
about a year ago and hasn’t looked back since. JULIA HANES: I call it my
weekly therapy session. It’s so fun. It’s so nice to get out
of the school bubble. It’s very relaxing. SHELBY TRAVERS: At 17,
Julia became paralyzed on her left side,
leaving her a hemiplegic. For someone who loved sports,
this was nearly devastating. JULIA HANES: When I felt like I
couldn’t be an athlete anymore, when I felt like I didn’t
have control over my own body, that was one of the– I don’t know. It was just really, really
challenging mentally and physically. Because it’s a way that I
used to work out my stress. SHELBY TRAVERS: The sport
itself is one reason Julia plays with the Stingers. But there is another
reason as well. JULIA HANES: I felt
welcomed and at home. Immediately people were helping
me get my different gloves on to try on, figure out
how to play the game. And it was just a ton of fun. And it hooked me right
on the first day. SHELBY TRAVERS: And
what are Julia’s goals playing at the club? JULIA HANES: I
honestly just want to be a better player,
so that I can be a better teammate for my team members. And so my goal as
an athlete is to be able to be the best player I
can be to support my teammates. SHELBY TRAVERS: Right
now, though, her main goal is to complete medical
school with a specialty in developmental
pediatrics for physiatry. JULIA HANES: Hey, guys. Who’s ready for a
blood pressure check? PATIENT: I am. JULIA HANES: I want to
graduate medical school. That’s Step 1. Blood pressure is looking
pretty good, Alex. 110 over 70. PLAYER: Push, Julia, push. SHELBY TRAVERS: That’s OK
with Patrice, of course. Although, he hopes Julia
continues with the Stingers and the sport. PLAYER: Double on Ben. PATRICE DAGENAIS: She’s a
great addition to our club, because she’s always
in a good mood. And she really enjoys the sport. And she has a lot of
potential as a player too. SHELBY TRAVERS: One
thing is certain, though. Patrice will continue to train
for the next big competition. PATRICE DAGENAIS: As long as
I’m a national team athlete, yes, I will definitely continue
to train for this sport.

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