Game On

Today’s Buck the Chargers fundraiser is a fun afternoon full of beer, food and football at the Irish Rover Pub, 54 South Broadway. A portion of every ticket sold will go to Denver’s elite wheelchair rugby team, the Harlequins.

Yeah, you heard right: wheelchair rugby.

Just by smashing -- and, of course, skill -- the sport allows players to release their inner athletes. “Quad Rugby is a great game,” says Harlequin Ron Bolseth. “It does a lot for physical and mental health. Most of us were pretty athletic before we got hurt.” Bolseth began playing for the team shortly after injuring his spine in 2003.

Athletes play with a volleyball on a basketball-sized court; the game is an amped-up combo of basketball, football and handball. Players hold the ball for up to ten seconds, then either pass or dribble. They’re not allowed to touch each other; however, ramming chairs is great for blocking and for defensive and offensive moves. The modified chairs weigh about 35 pounds and cost around $3,000 — and, like the players, they’re uncompromisingly tough. There was a reason this game was first called Murderball. Pretty bad-ass, right?

“This is our biggest fundraiser, and it really helps out the team,” says Bolseth. In past years, the group has raised upwards of $3,000, which has gone toward out-of-state travel, equipment and repairs.

Oh, yeah: There’s a Broncos game on, too. The party starts at 11 a.m., the game at 2 p.m. Bolseth and a number of other Harlequins -- including Paralympic gold-medalists Jason Reiger and Chance Sumner -- will be around to help root for the home team.

Go! It’ll feel good to contribute to a worthy cause while watching the Broncos smash the Chargers’ playoff dreams. Tickets are $25 online and $30 at the door; for more information, visit www.buckthechargers.com or call 303-949-7640.
Sun., Dec. 28, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 2008

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Elena Brown