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United States Quad Rugby Association National Championships Come to Rockford for the First Time

Commits to Three-Year Run, 2019-2021

ROCKFORD, IL – Oscar Mike Foundation, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB), and the Rockford Park District (RPD) announced today that the United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) National Championship will be held in Rockford for the first time. The three organizations have been working together to secure the bid for the multi-year championship tournament, which will take place in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The bid was awarded to Rockford during the 2018 championships in Phoenix, AZ. In 2019, the tournament will take place March 28, 2019 through March 31, 2019 at UW Health Sports Factory, 305 S. Madison Street, Rockford.

"The UW Health Sports Factory was designed with adaptive sports in mind, and is ready to welcome all athletes," said John Groh, RACVB President/CEO. "Our RACVB team is proud to welcome this new client to the Rockford region, and looks forward to the next three years, and a long-term relationship beyond that. I know our region’s hospitality partners, including the great team at the Rockford Park District, will work together to ensure our guests have an amazing experience as they visit our community."

The United States Quad Rugby Association National Championship is the largest co-ed wheelchair rugby tournament in the United States, and consists of 36 games taking place over three days.  The best 18 teams in the country will come to Rockford to compete and determine who will be crowned National Champion. Marengo, IL-based Oscar Mike Foundation will not only host the tournament, but will also compete, and is the first team in USQRA history that is 100% comprised of military veterans.

“Our rugby team, Oscar Mike Militia, is thrilled to be a part of this big win for our community and represent Rockford. We normally travel far and wide to compete, so we are excited to show off Rockford and this amazing facility to other teams. To host such a massive tournament, we will certainly be seeking support, as sponsors and volunteers will be critical to the success of this three-year deal,” said Rick Kolberg, of the Oscar Mike Foundation. Oscar Mike Foundation will also hold a wheelchair rugby clinic Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20, 2018 at UW Health Sports Factory.

Wheelchair rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today, and offers players the chance to stay active. To participate in this adapted sport, players must have a combination of upper and lower extremity impairment to be considered eligible. “I had the opportunity to volunteer for the USQRA tournament held in Phoenix earlier this year along with a team member from RACVB, and we got to know more about the sport and the intensity of the game. It’s amazing to watch, and we are proud of the connections we made and information we were able to share about UW Health Sports Factory. Everyone left a big impression on us, and I can’t wait to welcome these athletes to town,” said Derek Papich, UW Health Sports Factory program supervisor.

Fast Facts about the United States Quad Rugby Association National Championship:

  • Number of Teams: 18
  • Number of Attendees for 2019: 500 Anticipated (1,500 anticipated for the three-year commitment)
  • Number of Hotel Room Nights for 2019: 350 Anticipated (1,050 anticipated for the three-year commitment)
  • Teams expected to come from at least 10 states including Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, Arizona, and California.
  • Estimated economic impact for 2019: $63,000 (three-year EEI total is $189,000)
  • The tournaments hosted will be open to the public to attend
  • There is no cost to spectate

Additional information can be found at www.oscarmike.org or www.usqra.org.

Oscar Mike utilizes 100% of any donation to the Oscar Mike Foundation 501(c)(3) Public Non-Profit and proceeds from Oscar Mike Apparel Sales to provide support to injured Veterans looking for an opportunity to stay active. By focusing on the arena of adaptive sports, the Oscar Mike Foundation assists in offering an outlet for an ongoing competitive lifestyle to thousands of American Veterans who have sacrificed for the defense of our country.

The mission of the RACVB is to drive quality of life and economic growth for our citizens through tourism marketing and destination development. www.gorockford.com

The Rockford Park District improves the quality of life for citizens by providing a vibrant park system that increases property values, stimulates economic development, decreases juvenile crime, and improves our communities’ health.  The Rockford Park District also protects the environment, employs thousands of area kids for the first time, and brings the community together to enjoy life.

Mike Costello