A popular summertime fundraiser for Cowichan Wheels, the annual wheelchair rugby tournament may have a new venue for 2019. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Wheels wheelchair rugby tournament may be on the move

Cowichan Wheels is rolling out some changes following the non-profit group’s recent annual general meeting.

Long-time president Jamie Coleman has stepped down and has been replaced by Cowichan businessman Lance Steward.

Coleman will remain an integral part of the team.

“We have a good board. We’ve just shuffled it a little bit. I’ve offered to step up with some of the administration stuff to take that off of Jamie’s plate,” Steward explained.

Another of the changes the group, whose goal is to make the community more wheelchair accessible, is pondering is moving their biggest annual fundraiser, the Cowichan Wheelchair Rugby Tournament. It happens every June.

“This year we’re considering moving it over to our parking lot at Red Arrow,” Steward said. A freshly paved slab will offer players a much smoother playing surface, and spectators more room to watch.

“It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do,” Steward said. We have a little extra area at Red Arrow. It’s been a really fun event every year and it’s been fairly well attended. The guys last year had a particularly good time so I think people are looking forward to playing again.”

He did admit that because the event is on a Sunday in June, “the downtown is usually pretty quiet so it’s been a bit of an uphill battle getting people out,” but hopes a new venue might pique some interest.

“Maybe if we can offer them the setting of a brewery,” he said. “And we’ll have some food trucks and entertainment just like usual. Hopefully we’ll get the same amount of people and raise some money for accessibility.”


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