Wheelchair rugby has been gaining popularity over the years, and for good reason. It is an exciting and fast-paced sport that requires a unique blend of skill, strength, and strategy. Wheelchair Rugby Canada, for the first time this year, invested in sending a Women’s Team to Paris to compete in the 2023 Women’s Cup. This marked Canada’s first international competition dedicated to female wheelchair rugby athletes!
Meet Ashley Munro, an incredible wheelchair rugby player from Canada with 5 years of experience under her belt. Her journey began at a Paralympic Search event in Calgary, where the members of the Calgary Inferno wheelchair rugby team invited her to come to a practice, she has been hooked every since! Her hard work and dedication have recently led her to represent Team Canada at the Women’s World Cup.
To prepare for Paris, Munro attended the annual Calgary Ignite Tournament hosted by Calgary Inferno Wheelchair Rugby Club where most of the Women’s Cup Team athletes attended. They had attended a camp one day prior to the tournament, to get some experience playing together, then made two all women teams to compete in the tournament, which the Women’s A Team won!
For Ashley, the highlight of the Women’s World Cup was getting to know her teammates and having the experience of competing together as a team. They built trust in one another to excel and play at their best, which ultimately led to them taking home the Bronze medal at their first women’s only competition! Training alongside the other women on Team Canada also helped her grow as an athlete, as she had the opportunity to learn from athletes who had different coaching and experience in the sport. She credits her coaches for also playing a significant role in her development, providing her with constant support and encouragement that boosted her confidence on the court.
“Having women highlighted in the sport of wheelchair rugby and having a Women’s Cup tournament shows the growth of female participation and that we can compete. Hopefully that inspires more women to play so we can continue to create more women’s teams across the world.”
When asked what advice she has for women who want to play wheelchair rugby, Munro says “Get out and try it! The men are welcoming and the classing of female athletes helps level the playing field. It’s a sport that has been made to be accepting and inclusive of more diverse physical disabilities, and it’s a ton of fun to play!”
Thank you to Wheelchair Rugby Canada for sending a team of ten talented women, including two of our own athletes from Wheelchair Sports Alberta, Ashley Munro and Kasey Aiello, to compete in the highly anticipated 2023 Women’s World Cup in Paris. The team was led by an all-female coaching staff, which further highlights the incredible achievements of these athletes. Be sure to keep an eye out for Kasey’s upcoming feature, as we celebrate the accomplishments of these women.