Magee Eagles Shine in Beast of the East Wheelchair Rugby Tournament
The recent Beast of the East wheelchair rugby tournament, hosted by Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Hospital – Center City, witnessed inspiring displays of athleticism and perseverance. Among the competitors were the Magee Eagles, a team driven by a shared love for the sport and a desire to showcase their abilities.
"This tournament allows us to transcend our disabilities," shared Benjamin Baker, a Magee Eagles player living with a spinal cord injury. "When we're on the court, we're just athletes playing the game we love."
Baker's injury occurred 18 years ago after a fall, confining him to a wheelchair. However, he found his way back to competition through the thrilling and fast-paced world of wheelchair rugby.
"It's like 4x4 basketball on wheels, with full physical contact and players maneuvering their specially designed chairs to carry the ball and score," Baker explained. "The wheels provide stability and agility, making it a truly dynamic sport."
Beyond the exhilarating action, the tournament and the sport itself offer a sense of normalcy and belonging for these athletes.
"Anyone who experiences a life-altering injury can still lead an active and fulfilling life," stated Keith Newerla, Community Program Coordinator at Jefferson Moss-Magee. "This tournament exemplifies how we can adapt and achieve, even facing challenging circumstances."
For Baker, being part of this supportive community has been instrumental in his recovery journey.
"We challenge and motivate each other, pushing ourselves to reach our full potential," Baker expressed. "The camaraderie and passion we share on the court is truly rewarding."
Jefferson's dedication to providing opportunities and support for athletes like Baker is remarkable. Learn more about how you can support Jefferson Moss-Magee.