Preparations are well underway in Vejle, Denmark for what organisers hope will be the biggest and best Wheelchair Rugby World Championship ever.

Defending champions Japan and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic gold medallists Great Britain, as well as four-time winners the USA, are among 12 teams heading to Vejle with their eye on the title.

DGI Huset Vejle will host the tournament between 10-16 October and following a successful European Championship in 2019 at the same venue, ambitions and expectations have been raised for this month’s competition.

Event Director Torben Nygaard revealed that planning for the World Championship began during the 2019 European Championship, when hosts Denmark made the final and sold-out signs went up for the final three days of the tournament.

Next week, the capacity for the courts at DGI Huset Vejle will be double what they were three years ago, while the action will be televised on Danish national broadcaster, DR2 and around the world.

“From the beginning we have been very ambitious,” Nygaard told World Rugby.

“At the European Championships in 2019, we accomplished some things we hadn't done before with being able to sell tickets.

“We had people in line and applying to buy tickets, on the waiting list and stuff like that. We sold out the last three days, and so this time we have increased the number of seats at the venue to two times as many people as we had at the Europeans.

“The whole sports presentation side and the whole TV production side, I think we have taken two or three steps up the ladder.”

The 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship will get underway on Monday with an opening ceremony, before the hosts Denmark take on Brazil and reigning Paralympic champions Great Britain then get their campaign started against Switzerland.

Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte will be in attendance for the opening match, and Nygaard is hopeful it will signal the start of an unprecedented week in Vejle.

“There have been some great World Championships, [for example,] last time in Australia,” Nygaard said.

“But for sure, our ambition is to deliver the best World Championships ever and hopefully in four years’ time, there will be an even better World Championships.

“That's the way it should be, and we hope in everything we do that we are taking it to new standards.

“We tried when we did the draw, taking that to a new level. I think we did that, and now the teams are coming, and the tournament is beginning.”

Nygaard began playing wheelchair rugby in 2008, when he was approached by coach Thor Johansson having been playing wheelchair basketball.

He found a team spirit and camaraderie in the game that hooked him in, and he subsequently became a devoted player, going on to coach Denmark and serve as chair of the country’s wheelchair rugby committee.

“I’ve had a lot of different involvements within the sport, and I've made some great friendships all over the world,” Nygaard said. “I've seen a lot of the world with the sport, so this is personal for me.

“This is, of course, a big thing as well to be able to be a part of this event and to be a part of this fantastic group of people being involved in and planning this event.

“The whole cooperation with the WWR [World Wheelchair Rugby], it's very special. So, I'm excited and I hope everybody taking part in this will be just as excited as I am.”

(Photo credit: Lars Emil Egeberg Simonsen)