The Danish rugby club Århus Kørestolsrugby (Århus Wheelchair Rugby) celebrated its 10 year anniversary by hosting Egmont Open on the 6th-8th of April, and the tournament was without a doubt the biggest event in its history as 12 clubs and national teams from most of Europe competed.
The teams were split into two different groups according to strength. The English teams dominated at the very top. The West Coast Crash team who had several players from the English national team won the tournament, with the London Wheelchair Rugby Club coming in at a second place. In the second group Viborg with the Finnish national team players Mauri and Tuuka won against Århus.
Egmont Open Again in 2020
The Egmont Open was as usual held at the Egmont Folk Highschool in Hou in Denmark, which offers world class facilities.
– The teams were very impressed by the facilities at the highschool, where all rooms are wheelchair accessible, said Torben Hahn Nygaard from Århus Kørestolsrugby.
– We are very proud of the fact that so many players, volunteers, and officials wanted to come to Denmark and we can already now promise that the tournament will be held again in 2020, where even more teams have indicated that they will participate, continues Torben who is both a former player and coach for the Danish national team.
Thumbs Up from London
Even though the London team was defeated in the final there is still lots of praise for the organisers of the Egmont Open coming from Steve Palmer (Archie), Chairman for the London Wheelchair Rugby Club (LWRC).
– The venue was great because everything was so close. Not having to use transport to get to the playing venue everyday made it easy for our team. The food was probably some of the best food we’ve ever had at a rugby tournament and everyone commented on how good it was, Steve Palmer says and continues:
– The standard of rugby over the weekend was of a very good standard. We were obviously disappointed to lose in the final but the Crash team were very deserved winners and were way too strong for us. As a club LWRC would be very interested in coming back to the tournament and helping the name and prestige of this event grow.
The Sponsors were the Decisive Factor
As thankful as Torben Hahn Nygaard is that the Egmont Open 2018 was a great success, just as thankful he is for the huge support that came from the sponsors.
– No sponsors, no tournament. It’s that simple. Our main sponsor this time was the Danish brand Qufora, who sponsored its own team, Team Qufora, who came in third in the best grouping, Torben Hahn Nygaard says.
Raf Hendrix who was one of the Team Qufora players was afterwards announced as the MVP.
Support for an Active Life
Sales Director at Qufora, Niels Balle, would not deny that the company will sign up as the main sponsor in 2020 as well:
– We want to support an active life in a wheelchair. Therefore it makes sense to join in on creating the framework for a tournament like the Egmont Open, says Niels Balle who has a spinal injury himself.
Qufora develops products for rectal irrigation where one can rinse and empty one’s bowels using only a small amount of water and thus regain control of defaecation.
– Many with spinal injuries are afraid of accidents, when they play sports. To do their best the focus needs to be on the game, not bowel function, Niels Balle stresses.
If you have any questions regarding the Egmont Open or Århus Kørestolsrugby, you are welcome to contact Torben Hahn Nygaard at firstname.lastname@example.org or on telephone +45 28 56 00 19.
If you have questions regarding Qufora, you are welcome to contact Niels Balle at email@example.com or on telephone +45 31 15 81 54.
Team West Coast Crash.
Photo Credit: Anita Graversen
Thor Johansson holds the ball securely.
Jon Johanneson is trying to block the pass from London player Olli Mangion.
Photo Credit: Viola Altmann
Jon Johanneson pressuring London player Ross Morrison.