Dorset Destroyers

Poole, South West

When Nick Coombs struggled to find a local club that could satisfy his hunger for regular, competitive wheelchair sport, he decided to do something about it. Despite having no previous experience of setting up and running a community sports club, together with his wife Sue and friend Paul, they founded the county’s first wheelchair rugby club, Dorset Destroyers.

The club has been growing from strength to strength ever since.

THE CHALLENGE

To compete in Wheelchair Rugby, the rules specify detailed requirements for rugby chairs to ensure safety and fairness, which must be met to be considered legal for play.

One of the biggest challenges for the club was raising the funds to purchase multiple rugby chairs for participants’ use. To support the club, Sported paired Nick and Sue with local volunteer mentor Carrie Robinson, who acted an external ’sounding board’ and used her professional expertise to advise on the club’s business and fundraising plans.

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Building on Dorset Destroyers’ success and growing demand for its services, the club has recently launched Disability Sports Dorset in a bid to boost disability sports in the area. The purchase of 15 new multi-use sports wheelchairs, thanks to a successful fundraising strategy, has allowed them to expand the range of sports and activities on offer to include wheelchair tennis, wheelchair self-defence and a disability shooting club.

It means people with a range of disabilities from illnesses such as spina bifida to people who have had life-changing accidents including amputees can enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity.

Carrie Robinson, Sported volunteer, said: “The club has progressed massively. Nick and Sue are a passionate, dedicated and inspirational couple.They got stuck in and didn’t let anything get in their way. I’m really glad they’ve done so well. It proves hard-work and passion gets rewarded.”