UVA student creates Adaptive Rugby program

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 2:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - University of Virginia graduate student Alexis Ward has found a way to bring together all members of the community to help grow the sport of rugby.

“Basically, if you think flag football, but put rugby into it,” Ward said.

Only in its infancy, Ward has created an adaptive rugby program linking the men’s and women’s teams at UVA with members of the special needs community.

“I’d love to provide someone with a sport that let’s them kind of forget what’s going on in life right now and the hard stuff that might be happening,” she said. “Just clear your head, get on the field, run around, hit some things, do whatever.”

As a member of the UVA team, as well as a student in the Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities program, this brings both of her passions together.

“I have a lot of students who have leadership-type skills, but I’ve never had a student who said, ‘hey I’m going to start a program,’” UVA Kinesiology Professor Martin Block said. “She took it all on herself.”

The goal is to have a full season of adaptive rugby in the spring. If you are interested in helping the adaptive rugby program in any way or participating you can reach out to Alexis Ward at

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