Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Story 19: The Hirschfield Family

Bobby fixes Trevor's chair.

Hustling to change a wheel.

Trevor competes for Team Canada

Today, we profile the efforts of the Hirschfield family and their work in the wheelchair rugby community both within BC and abroad.

Trevor Hirschfield is considered one of the best low-point wheelchair rugby players in the world. He was named Best 1.0 at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships and has won many other Tournament All Star awards at national and international events. When Trevor's on the court competing for Team Canada, he doesn't have to look far to find his family. His father Bobby is also involved heavily with the Canadian national team, most recently as an equipment manager at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. The entire Hirschfield clan is usually not far behind. They're known to be ardent wheelchair rugby fans and even traveled to the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing to witness Trevor win a bronze medal.

Within BC, Trevor and his family have also been instrumental in developing wheelchair rugby on Vancouver Island. As one of the few national team athletes who lives in BC full-time, he mentors developing athletes and participates in demos and Have a Go days. Trevor's public speaking has also introduced British Columbians to wheelchair rugby.

We sat down to talk to Trevor about the impact his family has had on his career:

Q: Why did you decide to get involved in wheelchair rugby to the extent that you did?

A: My first attempt at rugby was in 2001 at a Have A Go day in Victoria. Duncan Campbell made sure that I wasn't going to miss it with all the constant reminders. After trying rugby for the first time I knew that it would be something that I would be interested in pursuing to the next level. I was really drawn to the physical aspect of the sport. It's not everyday you get to see two wheelchairs crash into each other at full speed. Being an ex-hockey player the physical part of the game felt natural.

Q: How has being involved in wheelchair rugby impacted your family?

Rugby has been great for my family. It gave me goals and something to work towards and my family has supported me every step of the way. Rugby helped my to move on with my life after my injury which has been extremely positive for both me and my family.

Q: What is your wheelchair rugby highlight so far?

My favourite rugby moment was getting to play on the world stage in front of my family in Beijing. I loved that I was able to share that moment with them.

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