Quad Rugby at Shepherd

I have been volunteering at the Shepherd Center for a while now – but just recently decided that I wanted to really incorporate my photography into the whole volunteering thing – so I reached out to the Shepherd rugby team to see if they would let me take pictures. By the way, Shepherd has some great sports programs – and even has some athletes in the 2012 Paralympic Games!

I was supposed to take pictures next Wednesday, but because I’m having to give up a telephoto lens that I had borrowed (Bummer!  Will have to go buy one now!) I figured I’d better go and grab some images.  It will be a few weeks before I have a new lens to get close in shots.

Anyway – I arrived at Shepherd, grabbed my badge, then headed down to the gym – where I sat down and watched the happenings.  It was conditioning time, so I got to see all of the rotations they do and for how long they do them.  I didn’t pull out my camera right away – I’d never seen quad rugby, so I thought it wise to just watch and get a feel for how I wanted to take my pictures.

It wasn’t long before the first person wheeled my direction and introduced himself – and after that others followed suit, with me explaining a few times what exactly I was doing there.  To my honest surprise I can say that I remembered each of their names after I had left (which is huge for me).  It’s probably because I’ve never worn such a smile on my face for that amount of time – two whole hours.  They just made me laugh.  In fact, I’ve given them all nicknames as well…but since I don’t know who is a patient and who isn’t I just can’t go blathering their real names (instead I’ll just put their first initial and my nickname for them).

Here they are in the order that I met them…this includes all seven people who were playing in the scrimmage:

Hands (K) – Actually this wasn’t my nickname, but someone called him that, and I thought it fit.

The Motivator (D) – Ya, you know who you are – what you might not know is that the new recruits/teammates got huge smiles when you encouraged them by yelling loudly from down the court.  I’m actually giving you a link, because I’m pretty sure you’d be okay with it.

Kicks (R) – Tricky one here, I loved your shoes – so nice and shiny.  It wasn’t until I got my pictures uploaded that I realized they were from the US team, incredibly fly.

Guns (S) – oh ya, biggest arms on the court – that’s what your nickname refers to.

Slim (Z) – Your nickname was almost Tugs, because everything kept sliding down and we’d have to tug it back into place – but I figured you would appreciate a slightly more manly name…just slightly.

Dash (JJ) – I think you could be the fastest on the court, sometimes you went speeding down the lane faster than I thought possible.

DeTerminator (M) – I’ve never seen someone concentrate on something so hard, with so much determination…you are going to be great at Rugby (I’ll probably shorten this nickname somehow) – and Dale (Ha I can say her name!) is wonderful – She has so much pride and joy when she watches you…

You should hear the clang of the chairs…sounds like gunshots…and then they start teetering over, only to be righted once again.  It was pretty neat to learn about the sport and to watch it.

I’m going back – I’d like to follow them for the season and get super awesome, amazing shots for the guys and for Shepherd.  Maybe they’ll let me!!



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