University of Houston Adaptive Athletics hosts wheelchair rugby camp

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Univeristy of Houston hosts women's wheelchair rugby camp (KTRK)

The University of Houston's Adaptive Athletics has made equal opportunities a priority. They are currently in the middle of hosting the Halliburton Charitable Women's Wheelchair Rugby Camp, which started July 26 and will run through the 29th. Athletes from around the country have the opportunity to make an impression before the Women's Cup.

Wheelchair rugby does not hold back on the physicality. It has earned the nickname "Murderball" because of it. While the sport is co-ed, this camp has more of a focus on females.

"This camp is unique because year-round, these women play on men's teams. This is the one event where women can train with other women," said Michael Cottingham, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance.

Kara Behrend has been playing rugby for a year and found the sport through a rehab program. She said she needed an outlet to release her anger and remain active.

"Rugby is the only time I actually feel free," Behrend said, adding that nothing holds her back in the moment. She was in the Air Force and said it helped her adapt quickly to the sport.

Behrend said one of her memorable moments was a big hit during the Warrior Games, flipping an opponent over. She said it felt rewarding to have all of the energy go in her favor.

Emily Shryock has been involved with wheelchair rugby for 10 years. She said the first contact and intensity made her fall in love immediately.

Shryock said it is a positive feeling to have a new level of confidence and mobility in a rugby chair.

"You start realizing there's nothing that you can't accomplish if you are willing to work towards it and you got the right support and people around you to make that happen," Shryock said.
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