RugbyPassTV, the world’s home of rugby content online, is shining a light on the world of wheelchair rugby from 19 December with the release of a new feature length, all access documentary “Hit Hard”.
The film follows the fortunes of Australia, the USA and France in their quest for glory at the International Wheelchair Rugby Cup, held in France at the same time as the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The film shows how tough and competitive the sport of wheelchair rugby is, through the athletes that are all grit, determination and inspiration. The hard hits, the camaraderie, the smack talk, the joy and the agony of elite international sport. The documentary peels back the sport’s tough exterior to shine a light on the deeper, rawer side of how these athletes came to be rugby’s toughest. Meeting their families, their other halves, finding out the circumstances that led to their situation, before returning back to find out how they found peace in the brutal sport they now excel in.
The documentary follows the story of three wheelchair rugby stars in Australia’s Chris Bond, America’s Chuck Aoki and France’s Cédric Nankin. Fans will hear about the players’ incredible stories and how they came to be such influential athletes within the game. The story ebs and flows through each team narrative as they progress through the International Wheelchair Cup held in France in October 2023. The film captures perfectly the complexities of how athletes are classified and see the uniqueness of a sport that has both genders playing side by side.
Hits Hard can be viewed on RugbyPassTV here
Fans can register to watch RugbyPassTV for free where they can see not only the new Hits Hard documentary but also all the latest action from the HSBC SVNS series, relive every game from past men’s Rugby World Cups and catch up on WXV, World Rugby’s new elite women’s tournament. All that alongside cutting edge content featuring Jim Hamilton talking to some of rugby’s biggest stars plus The Girls Locker Room presented by Red Roses Maud Muir and Sadia Kabeya tackling the issues that matter both inside and outside the women’s game
Fans can sign up to RugbyPassTV here
Speaking in the documentary, a key focal point of the film, Chris Bond of Australia states “People with disabilities and in wheelchairs are generally stereotyped as wrap them in cotton wool and you know don’t touch them they are weak. They are lesser then, they are dis-abled. I guess wheelchair rugby challenges that a bit. You can put anyone in that chair, able bodied or not and we’d probably kick their ass!”
Fellow star Chuck Aoki of the USA says “Disability doesn’t have to be something that holds you back it can empower you and it can open doors you never thought you could go into. You can do these things!”
President of World Wheelchair Rugby Richard Allcroft welcomed Hits Hard and the partnership with RugbyPassTV, saying “This exciting documentary highlights not just the physicality of Wheelchair Rugby but also the phenomenal athletes that compete globally. Their inspirational lives certainly stand out and it demonstrates that the athletes are here to win”
“Wheelchair rugby is not your typical para-sport and Hits Hard provides a unique insight into what makes our sport so special. Unique content like Hits Hard is just one way in which the sports of rugby union and wheelchair rugby are working closely together to provide competition, opportunity and profile for the best athletes in all forms of rugby.”
World Rugby Chief Marketing and Content Officer James Rothwell said “Wheelchair Rugby is one of the most compelling sports out there and it is sure to once again capture the imagination of a global fanbase at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
“We’re delighted to be able to bring the players’ incredible stories to RugbyPassTV and give them a platform alongside all the other global superstars of rugby. RugbyPassTV’s unique content is fast making the site a must visit for rugby fans around the world and Hits Hard will only broaden that appeal. With even more original programming set for the platform in 2024 alongside all the fantastic rugby action, we look forward to seeing RugbyPassTV continue to grow from strength to strength.”