The Capital of Para Sport, Vejle in Denmark hosted the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship from October 10 to 16. 46 matches, enthusiastic crowds on the stands, world-class livestreaming, and a vibrant fan zone were the ingredients in a recipe for success.
Tight matches throughout the tournament led to the crowning of the new world champions from Australia.
Vejle has positioned itself as the Capital of Para Sports, with the Wheelchair Rugby European Championship in 2019 and the Worlds this year. Building on previous event staging experiences was a huge advantage to the tournament.
The national federation, Parasport Denmark, the host city Vejle, and Sport Event Denmark organized the event for World Wheelchair Rugby.
Richard Allcroft, president of World Wheelchair Rugby, said: "When I arrived it was clear that the city of Vejle was ready to receive wheelchair rugby, and what a week it has been. The reason why we were there was for the athletes, and everything was arranged around them, to make sure their experience was world-class. The pinnacle of this was the field of play and seeing the way that Athletes were presented onto the court set the scene for what has been some of the best competition to date.
"It is well known within events that it is the volunteers who make everything special. I can’t thank them enough for making our time here so unique and for helping us create lasting memories of what I must declare as the best World Championship to date. The final congratulations go to our new World Champion, Australia, our silver medalist USA, and bronze medalist Japan."
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John Petersson, chairman of Parasport Denmark, said: "It has been an unforgettable week in Vejle. The sporting level in wheelchair rugby has been higher than ever, and the Danish national team rolled into the absolute world elite with a historic result. At the same time, it makes me incredibly proud that World Wheelchair Rugby has trusted to stage these Worlds. Together with Vejle Municipality and Sport Event Denmark, we have managed to raise the level for both athletes, officials, and the audience. The support for the national team, and parasport on home ground in Vejle has once again been incredible."
Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, said: "Vejle in Denmark has been in the spotlight over the summer. The Grand Depart Tour de France, the World Orienteering Championships, and this week’s Wheelchair Rugby World Championships. And Denmark is more than ready to welcome the World of Sport back to festive celebrations of sports. We are currently looking into other attractive sporting and parasport events."
Jens Ejner Christensen, mayor of Vejle, said: "We have had a fantastic Wheelchair Rugby World Championship this week in the capital of Parasport with exciting matches and great support from many locals. I am happy that several of the municipality's schools, residences, and businesses have visited. With many spectators in the venue, we have succeeded in giving both citizens, and the national team great experiences in Spektrum. A big thank you to Parasport Denmark, and Sport Event Denmark for the collaboration and WWR for trusting Vejle to host the event."
- 12 nations (Great Britain, USA, France, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, and Denmark)
- 46 matches – livestreaming of all matches
- All Denmark matches and finals on broadcast television in Denmark
- Gold: Australia
- More than 10,000 spectators over the week and a completely sold-out venue the weekend’s
- Fan zone every day from 8am to 8 pm
- Paramekka (expo area) with 5 companies within para business and 8 para clubs.
- School Exercise Day/National Health Day with students from the local area and visits from 18 different schools
- 80 volunteers
- Vejle has hosted 2015 European Para Table Tennis, 2019 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby European Championship. Vejle has 55 para sport activities for people with disabilities and mental health issues.
- Denmark has hosted 5 wheelchair rugby championships: Worlds: 2014 & 2022. European: 2005,2009, 2019
Photos for editorial use:
A selection of action photos from Lars Møller are made available following each of the 46 games. Access them here.
Use password: Vejle2022wrwc / Credit: Lars Møller for Parasport Danmark
Image: Lars Møller for Parasport Danmark