Wounded Warrior Project introduces Jacksonville veterans to wheelchair rugby

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For many Jacksonville veterans, unique mental and physical injuries have come to light during prolonged periods of social distancing, associated with the COVID pandemic.

One group is working to change that, by staying motivated and healthy through the adaptive sport of wheelchair rugby.

Learning how to play was a little intimidating at first for a veteran who lives in Cape Canaveral.

“I was a little apprehensive, but now I can’t wait to get back out on the court,” the veteran said.

It’s the first clinic of its kind that the Wounded Warrior Project has put on in Florida in conjunction with Brooks Rehab at their YMCA location in Jacksonville.

“Introducing them to a sport and showing them that no matter what injury they have, they can still participate and still play in something,” said Kate Belany with WWP Adaptive Sports.

For the nine injured veterans from all over the state who’ve never played the sport, it’s fulfilling the need for exercise and mental motivation.

Wounded Warrior Project offers a hybrid model of both virtual and in-person programs to help meet the psychological and physical needs of injured veterans.

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.