WHEELCHAIR rugby will roll into Sunderland next month, with the city set to host a major national event in the sport.

The Allied Mobility Wheelchair Rugby 5s competition will take place at the Beacon of Light on the weekend of April 13-14. The action will take place between 9am-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and admission will be free.

Fiona Murphy, events manager at the Foundation of Light, said: “Everyone at the Beacon of Light is excited to be part of the first wheelchair rugby tournament to be held in the city of Sunderland, and we hope that the city gets behind the sport.”

Wheelchair rugby 5s is an action-packed wheelchair sport involving speed, full-chair contact, hard hits, precision, physical determination, and teamwork. The sport is played by both men and women, playing in the same teams and the same competitions.

Jason Brisbane, the CEO of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR), said: “We are so proud to showcase our sport to the people of Sunderland for the first time, and we hope that their passionate football supporters can get behind us.”

GBWR have been keen to take the sport around the country to encourage more players, volunteers, and supporters, and are looking forward to visiting Sunderland.

GBWR competitions manager Adam Simmons added: “Everyone that we have worked with to put this wheelchair rugby event on in the city of Sunderland has been welcoming, professional and positive. We are all excited to show off our sport.”

The Allied Mobility Wheelchair Rugby 5s cements Sunderland’s growing relationship with rugby, with the Stadium of Light having been selected to host the opening game of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025.

Councillor John Price, Cabinet Member for Vibrant City at Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting national wheelchair rugby in our city for the very first time.

“Along with the Beacon of Light, we’re looking forward to giving them a warm Sunderland welcome and making them feel at home in our city.

“With a national rugby wheelchair tournament in April and hosting the opening match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August 2025, this is shaping up to be an especially exciting time for rugby in Sunderland and I’d encourage everyone to go along and watch if they get the chance.”