The City of Sydney will be sponsoring “Murderball”, an exciting event at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Wheelchair rugby, as the sport is otherwise known, involves a competition between teams of four who attempt to carry the ball into the opposition’s end zone.
The Council voted unanimously to give $60,000 to the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team in support of its London campaign.
The money is a small boost for the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) which is calling for increased funding to help keep Australian Paralympic athletes competitive.
Last year the APC released a report predicting Australia would finish seventh in the gold medal tally at London, the nation’s worst result since 1992.
While taking second place at Atlanta in 1996 and first in Sydney four years later, Australia is now at risk of being muscled out of a top five finish by nations such as Brazil, Ukraine, Germany and France.
Wheelchair Rugby, one of the 20 sports included at this year’s Paralympics, represents one gold medal chance for Australian.
The sport earned the nickname ‘murderball’ thanks to its brutal physicality.
Contact between wheelchairs is permitted and spectacular collisions at high speeds often leave athletes sprawled across the floor.
Australia finished second at the last world championship behind the United States and will have to conquer their trans-Pacific rivals if they are to take gold at London.
The Council has also offered event support for the APC and will help launch the Paralympic team uniform later this year.
By Max Chalmers