News & Events

Building Community Relationships

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Building Community Relationships
by Cynthia Lynn
This past year has been a pivotal period of growth and development for the Seattle Slam. Beginning the year with seventeen rostered and recreational players, the Slam recruited new members and has grown to twenty. With the new additions, the team made the choice to concentrate its efforts on developing as a team, both internally and within the community. And the community has responded with whole-hearted enthusiasm.
The Slam has had a long-term relationship with Seattle University.  For the last three years William Hogan, Director of Athletics, has involved his upper-level business class in fund-raising projects for the Slam, raising enough to provide two wheelchair rugby chairs for new players. Thanks to his support, in 2009, Seattle University hosted Pacific Sectionals. This February, the University expanded its partnership with the team by inviting the Slam to scrimmage after the Seattle University vs. University of Portland men’s basketball game at Key Arena, with a crowd of over 6,100 there for the game.  Along with introducing quad rugby to a brand new audience, the event also served as a fundraiser for the team, with a percentage of ticket proceeds earmarked for the Slam. The demo was a huge success, with everyone in the crowd getting involved. Slam t-shirts were thrown into the stands and Seattle University students hopped into chairs to give the game a try!
Charge - Photo by Vecta Photo
Recently a couple of Slam team members, Chris Curtis and Sean Gabriel, were out at a bar after practice and met up with a couple of professional photographers, Richard Walker and Tony Blazejack of Vecta Photo. The guys from Vecta, former photojournalists who both covered a lot of sports action, were impressed with what they learned about the Slam and the sport, and decided to get involved. They attended several of the Slam’s events, taking photos for the team. They then set up an intensive day-long photo shoot at their studio for the Slam, which resulted in amazing portrait and team action shots. March 12th, these pictures were exhibited at Vecta Photo’s studio during the Georgetown Art Attack Art Walk. The response was tremendous, and many in the community who had never heard of quad rugby were thrilled to see both the stunning photos and get an opportunity to meet the team. Some of the photographs taken by Vecta Photo can be seen at .
 The Slam haShot clocks from Bodypoint Incs also benefitted greatly from the generosity of another Seattle-based company this year, Bodypoint, Inc. This international company specializing in wheelchair seating and positioning aids celebrated their 20th anniversary by donating a set of shot clocks to the team. This is a huge coupe for the Slam, who has had to rent their clocks until now, so they were especially grateful for the generous donation.  

The team has undergone a great deal of growth this past year, and is appreciative of the community support and encouragement they have received. Slam Coach and Co-captain Curt Chapman said “For teams to survive and thrive, it is extremely important that they build relations with the community. Teams need to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way even if they are not sure where it’ll lead, you can be sure there’s almost always a payoff”. These partnerships have not only furthered awareness of the team and the sport, but added a new camaraderie between the team and the community that will only grow in the years to come

March 15, 2011 — 9:27am