THE Dorset Destroyers – the first wheelchair rugby club in the county – is gathering momentum with 13 players attending the third of four taster sessions on Sunday.

The newly formed club invited people to give the sport a go during a session at the Junction Sports and Leisure Centre in Broadstone, with expert coaching from former GB player Luke White and support from the national governing body the GBWR, which loaned the wheelchairs for the session.

Behind the fledgling club is husband and wife team, Nick and Sue Coombs, along with Nick’s pal Paul Sutherland, who is club captain.

The idea came up in conversation between the two men last year when they decided they would like to try the sport, but realised the nearest wheelchair rugby club is Southampton.

Nick, who has been disabled since he was nine and has been through 47 operations on his knees, said: “The camaraderie is great. We’re all in the same boat – with varying disabilities – but we’re all equal.”

For him the adrenaline fuelled sport hits the right note: “It’s not as violent as you might think – it’s quite technical,” he added. “It’s very hard work – you sweat buckets. I think it shows disabled people don’t want to sit around withering in their chairs – we have that competitive spirit.

“I’m in enough pain anyway – I may as well have a good reason for it. Life’s too short not to play wheelchair rugby.”

The club needs to raise thousands to buy the special wheelchairs built to withstand the powerful impacts.

They cost at least £2,600 each and while the group has bought one and is raising enough funds for another, they need the community to get behind them. To support the club contact Sue or Nick on 01202 684048.

The next free taster session for The Dorset Destroyers is on Sunday, November 9 from 1pm till 3pm at The Junction Sports and Leisure Centre.

Contact Paul Arnold by calling 07872 664 927 or email Check out the action from the Dorset Destroyers session in a video on the Echo website.

  • An exciting fusion of ice hockey, handball and rugby, the game was originally founded in Canada in 1977. It’s not only based on physical speed and chair contact, but is also a highly tactical intelligent game to be involved in. With eight rolling substitutes making up squads of 12, with four players on court per team at any time, all with the aim of driving the ball across the opponents’ goal line. Contact between wheelchairs is permitted.