On September 14, 2018 the Director of Therapy Services at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute invited me to take photos at the Maryland Crab Pot V wheelchair rugby tournament, which would take place on October 27-28, 2018. I’ve been heavily involved in organized sports my whole life, as a player for nearly 50 years, also as a coach and referee, and now as a photographer. I have seen, and have personally experienced, how participation in sports can help people discover the strengths that they possess. Now as a photographer I get a chance to capture the moments that demonstrate those strengths, and leave players with ongoing reminders of them. Needless to say, I accepted her invitation.
During the February Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Code of Honor wheelchair rugby tournament in Richmond, Virginia, I approached the coach of the ‘Punishers’, from MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, which would be sponsoring the March United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) Atlantic Sectionals tournament, in Fort Washington, Maryland, offering to photograph that tournament as well, as I had done for the same tournament the previous year. My offer was accepted, and I looked forward to watching and photographing the intense competition that would lead, for the top teams, to a trip to the April USQRA National Championship tournament in Phoenix, Arizona.
Here’s Matt demonstrating his shoulder-roll technique.
On February 12, 2018, Patty sent me a text, to tell me that our friend Mary’s son had asked if I would be willing to shoot photos at a tournament that his wheelchair rugby team, NoVA Mutiny, was hosting in Richmond, Virginia on February 24-25. The six-team tournament was being sponsored by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), with support from both the Virginia chapter, and the national office in Washington, DC. It would serve as a tune up for the Atlantic Sectionals tournament coming up on March 23-25 in Fort Washington, MD. For me, in addition to the opportunity it provided to volunteer for a great cause, it was a chance for Patty and I to get down to Richmond to visit her father, her sister, her brother, and their spouses for the weekend. Unfortunately, we ended up cutting the trip short, coming home Sunday morning, because Patty wasn’t feeling well.