On Friday evening at Madison Bowl, Ward and her UVA rugby club teammates held an adaptive rugby clinic for people with disabilities in Charlottesville.
“Now that rugby has become a crucial part of my life, I thought it would be cool to kind of merge my two passions together,” said Ward, a team captain who first started playing the sport as a second-year student.
During Friday’s clinic, Ward had participants play a less-physical version of rugby that was akin to flag football, in that players grabbed flags off of each other’s waistbands instead of tackling each other. Ward said her goal is to start a regular adaptive rugby league in the spring.
School of Education and Human Development professor Martin Block said Ward is special.
“She single-handedly created this adaptive rugby program, making contacts with our local Special Olympics and Charlottesville Parks and Recreation to generate interest with athletes,” said Block, program director of Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities. “This is the first time adaptive rugby [was] played in Charlottesville, and perhaps the first time it [was] played in Virginia.”