From City Square to Red Arrow Brewing, the Cowichan Wheels Association’s annual wheelchair rugby tournament is on the move. (Citizen file)

Red Arrow serves up new community sports court for Cowichan’s 15th annual wheelchair rugby tournament

Sunday, June 9 is the date and wheelchair rugby is the game but this year the 15th annual Cowichan Wheels Association wheelchair rugby tournament will not be held in Duncan’s City Square.

Instead, the 16-team event will be held at the Red Arrow Brewing Company’s new community sport court on Chaster Road.

Don’t worry families, it’s still a kid-friendly event.

There’ll be food trucks, live music (the McCandless Family band and The County Line), water guns and other activities for the kids and, given it’s outside a brewery, the availability of ice cold beer in the shaded beer garden.

“It’s an all-ages event, and we’re really looking forward to the space and energy that moving the tournament to Red Arrow brings,” said Cowichan Wheels Association board member Laura Stephenson.

She said the sport court has been in the works for a while and it’s become the home summertime practice court of the local wheelchair rugby team.

“This fully fenced, smooth court is set up for ball hockey, basketball, fundraisers and events,” Stephenson said. “Red Arrow would love to hear from the public about holding practices and pickup games on the court, so please contact them.”

Proceeds from the June 9 event will benefit the community.

“The money we raise from the annual tournament is put towards youth bursaries, funding our local wheelchair rugby team, and for infrastructure such as accessible swings at local playgrounds [check out the new one at Centennial Park!], viewing areas at Somenos Marsh, and the pool lift at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre,” Stephenson explained.

It goes beyond that, too.

“This year we are launching a new program to assist local businesses with funding automatic doors to increase accessibility around the Valley,” she added. “For future projects we are looking into how to create wheelchair accessible water access so everyone is able to enjoy the beauty the Cowichan Valley provides.”

Stephenson noted the new projects are still in the planning stages and they welcome feedback from the public about them.

It all begins at 11 a.m. and while the tournament will run until roughly 3:30 p.m., the party won’t stop until around 6 p.m.

Curious to learn more? Visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cowichan.wheels/

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