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Incontinence Support Blog

Following Davis Part 3: Murderball with Men's Liberty

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 1, 2013 11:57:00 AM

We’re back and to kick of 2013 with a bang we wanted to share an update from Davis as he prepares for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

After nearly 10 years of heckling from friends and fellow competitors, Davis has finally given in and joined the Tampa Generals Quad Rugby team. “I’ve been talking trash for years, now I have to put my money where my mouth is,” he says. Although the Tampa Generals aren't part of the Games, being involved in great practice and he's loving the challenge!

I joined Davis and his Tampa Generals teammates for a practice session in Clearwater, FL just before Christmas and wanted to share the pics and videos below!

It been a couple of days since the practice and the thing that I remember most is the sound. They practice in a gymnasium so everything sounds louder. It echoes. The players have special chairs with full metal wheels that are angled for balance and turning at high speeds. They bang into one another over and over backwards and forwards - it sounds like they are trying to knock each other out of their chairs!

In the midst of all this they are throwing and dribbling a white ball, attempting to score. I don't know too much about rugby but it seems that the quad rugby teams have matched the able bodied version for sheer brutality. I guess I know now why it's called murderball!

Tampa Generals Wheelchair Rugby Tournament

The Tampa Generals are a wheelchair rugby team that has been in existence since 1989. Since their inception, the Generals have continued to be one of the top teams in the U.S. Quad Rugby Association. The Generals boast 3 National Championships and are the most storied team in the history of the sport. The Generals are a community based team comprised of players from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Hernando, and Sarasota counties. During rugby season (Oct - Apr), the Generals compete at an average of 8-10 tournaments per year around the country. Davis is one of nearly a dozen players including two women!

Tampa Generals Competition

There are 4 veterans on the Tampa Generals team and they are looking forward to competing in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. In advance of the Games, Davis is learning a lot with the Tampa Generals and enjoying the competitions!

There are two local January competitions in FL that we’d encourage you all to check out! We’ll be there with bells on to support these amazing athletes!

Tampa Generals logo6th Annual Southern Slam Quad Rugby Tournament

Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex
3605 Phillips Highway
Jacksonville, FL 32207-5613

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 9:00am - Sun, 01/06/2013 - 1:00pm

21st Annual Coloplast International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament

All Peoples Center

6105 E. Sligh Avenue

Tampa, Fl 33617

Fri, 01/11/2013 (All day) - Sun, 01/13/2013 (All day)

Next up on Following Davis…. adaptive water-skiing!!!

Subscribe today to keep up with all the news on the Veterans Wheelchair Games. Seize the day in Tampa Bay!!

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For more info on the Games, check out: www.wheelchairgames.pva.org

Topics: adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, Following Davis, veterans, spinal cord injury

Following Davis Part 2: Hand Cycling

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Nov 14, 2012 4:01:00 PM

We checked in with Davis again this week since he just started training! He is planning on competing in swimming, hand cycling and quad rugby at next year’s Veterans Wheelchair Games in Tampa. The swimming training is going to wait until spring, but Davis said he was thrilled to be getting started with hand cycling and quad rugby (also known as Murderball!).

Ride to Defeat ALSTo kick things off, Davis joined 500 other cyclists in the Ride to Defeat ALS at Walsingham Park in Clearwater, FL on November 3rd. Joined by his 17 year old son, Davis completed the 25 mile ride on an adaptive hand cycle. He competes every year to increase awareness of ALS.

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. Patients are robbed of the ability to walk, eat, speak, and eventually breathe.

Upon diagnosis, patients are given just two to five years to live. ALS can strike anyone at any time, and although there is no known cure, recent scientific breakthroughs provide hope for the future. Military veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS. The connection is unknown.

Ride to Defeat ALS Hand CyclistsA common side effect of ALS is incontinence as patients lose muscle control. Joined by campaigners including Augie Neito, Men’s Liberty works with hundreds of men with ALS to maintain their independence as long as possible.

Davis is also looking forward to his first quad rugby tournament this weekend in Jacksonville, FL. “I’m a little nervous but I’m looking forward to it” he said. “There is a lot of trash talk in rugby games but I think I can keep up!”

The Jacksonville Mini Rugby Tournament brings together teams of adaptive athletes for fun and fiercely competitive games all across Florida! We’ll check back in next week to see how the tournament went and share some photos of the game affectionately known as Murderball.

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Men’s Liberty is a proud sponsor of Mission: ABLE and an enthusiastic supporter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For more information on the Wheelchair Games, check out their website: www.wheelchairgames.va.gov

Topics: adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, Following Davis, veterans

Following Davis… Countdown to the Wheelchair Games!

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Oct 23, 2012 12:54:00 PM

Men’s Liberty is a proud sponsor of Mission: ABLE and regular attendee at the PVA’s annual Wheelchair Games. We are so proud of these adaptive athletes and are consistently amazed by their accomplishments. These competitors challenge the stigma too often associated with ‘disability’. It’s just under a year until the next Wheelchair Games and training is already kicking off. To top up the excitement in our offices, we are thrilled that the Games are being hosted here in Tampa and we’re looking forward to being involved every step of the way.

In that spirit, we want you to get in on the action as well. For the next 10 months, we are inviting you to follow Davis, a local Tampa Bay area competitor in weight lifting, swimming, hand-cycling and quad rugby (also known as Murderball!). He is starting training next week for hand cycling and quad rugby!

Davis Celestine, PVA, Men's Liberty

We’re going to be checking in with Davis every few weeks as he trains for the Wheelchair Games and we’ll be posting updates here so you all can follow along. Last year he won the Silver Medal in swimming and the Gold in weight lifting. We’re looking forward to seeing him do it again this year!

Davis is a C6 partial quadriplegic who was wounded in a training accident while he was preparing with his unit to be deployed to Afghanistan in 2001. He is now the President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and quite the advocate for veterans in the area! We are thrilled to get to follow along on the amazing journey he and the other athletes will take leading up to the 2013 Wheelchair Games!

In a recent interview with the Tampa Tribune, Davis explained why he was excited to have the games come to Tampa.

"Tampa is a great place for veterans," says Davis . "It is a community enriched with military veterans who have served before me and who are serving after me. We came and made it home.

"Having the games come back to Tampa is going to be a grand old event to show people in my community what a disabled person can do. It's not a sickness or disorder. We want to show that individuals, even in a chair, can live a healthy and active life."

When he’s not competing, Davis is the proud husband and father of two very active 17 year old twins.  He is looking forward to watching them graduate from high school next spring and then head off to college here in Florida.

Check out this ABC News piece on Davis and the Wheelchair Games:

The Games will be taking place in Tampa July 13 to 18, 2013 and are expected to draw more than 500 Veterans from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Great Britain. 

Davis Celestine Wheelchair Games 

Veterans compete in 17 competitive events including air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, field events such shot put, javelin, discus and club, hand-cycling, a motorized wheelchair rally, nine ball, power soccer, quad rugby, slalom, softball, swimming, table tennis, track, trapshooting and weightlifting. The athletes compete in all events against each other with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age. 

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Men’s Liberty is a proud sponsor of Mission: ABLE and an enthusiastic supporter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For more information on the Wheelchair Games, check out their website: www.wheelchairgames.va.gov

Topics: wheelchair games, external catheter for men, adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, Following Davis, veterans, spinal cord injury, mission able