Princess Benedikte opened the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation’s European championships Wednesday, celebrating a home team win at DGI House in Vejle. The Princess, who serves as patron of Parasport Denmark, attended the match between the Danish and the Polish men’s national team.
Parasport Denmark, which works to promote physical and competitive sports for people with disabilities, is hosting this year’s championship along with Vejle Municipality and Sport Event Denmark. Princess Benedikte attended the match along with with the chairman of Parasport Denmark, John Petersson, and the mayor of Vejle Municipality, Jens Ejner Christensen.
The Princess applauded as she took in the match, watching along with a large home crowd as Denmark defeated the Polish team with a score of 59-43. After the event, she greeted players and smiled broadly as she chatted and shook hands with the winning Danish men’s national team.
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På hjemmebane vandt Danmark i dag åbningskampen mod Polen med cifrene 59-43, da EM i kørestolsrugby blev skudt i gang i Vejle. Som protektor for Parasport Danmark overværede H.K.H. Prinsesse Benedikte kampen. Kørestolsrugby er for personer med nedsat funktion i arme og ben, og sporten er kendetegnet ved en høj grad af fysisk udfoldelse, som ses ved et højt tempo på banen. Selve spillet foregår i specialbyggede, manuelle kørestole, og holdene spiller fire mod fire. Det er Parasport Danmark, Vejle Kommune og Sport Event Denmark, der er værter for EM. 📸 www.leesfoto.net©️
“It has been a fantastic start to the European Championships in wheelchair rugby,” said Christensen. “A full spectrum with an extremely well-to-do home audience, a visit by HKH Princess Benedikte and a victory for Denmark has given us a flying start. I am delighted that Vejle, the capital of Parasport’s Capital, can help set this framework thus supporting our national team towards a hopefully good European result.”
The Danish team also proved victorious on day two of the championship series, winning against Switzerland, but lost in Friday’s match against Great Britain, the defending European champions. The championship will conclude on Sunday and the top two winning teams will receive an automatic qualification for the 2020 Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo.
According to Parasport Denmark, wheelchair rugby was developed in Canada in the 1970s and includes elements of rugby, basketball, and handball.
The European championships are the culmination of Parasport’s Year in Vejle Municipality. Throughout the past year, a series of events have been held to showcase parasport and the many activities available for Danish people with disabilities.