Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Buccaneers looking for new recruits

Andy Hopkinson | 3rd February 2023

Wheelchair rugby has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Many of you may remember seeing the Great Britain team taking home a gold medal in 2021 from the postponed Tokyo 2020 games after a thrilling game against a strong USA team

Buccaneers looking for new recruits

Several members of this team were meningitis survivors and it’s a game that offers much to those fighting back from the disease – it’s one of the only full-contact disability sports open to both men and women, allowing them to compete on the same team, and it’s fast, fun and friendly.

The game was invented in 1977 in Canada by a group of tetraplegic wheelchair basketball players who were tired of losing out on court time to their more functional teammates.

It reached the UK in the early 1980s and there are now more than 30 teams up and down the UK.

On the lookout for new people 

One of these is the Brighton Buccaneers, based in the Sussex city, and they’re currently on the lookout for new people to get involved in their sport.

Club Secretary Mary Nicholls told us: “We are actively seeking to recruit new players and are keen to reach out to people in East and West Sussex who have had meningitis, which we know is a good fit with our sport.

“Wheelchair rugby is open to both men and women and is a dynamic and exciting sport suitable for people with all disabilities.

“At Buccaneers we pride ourselves on being a very welcoming and inclusive club.

Free ‘have a go’ sessions

“We offer free ‘have a go’ sessions on Sundays between 10.30am and 12.30pm at our regular venue - University of Brighton Sports Centre, Falmer BN1 9PH. 

“What have you got to lose? If you live in the area why not come along and try it out – we have all the equipment you’ll need, so just bring yourself.”

If you’d like to give it a go please get in touch with Mary at

Read more about the sport on the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby website

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