It has been six months since Ian Lloyd was honoured with becoming the chairman of Canterbury Hellfire Wheelchair Rugby Club, so we thought it was a good time for Ian to update everyone on where we are and what we are all up to. 

When I created our new committee we were a little short on funds, not competing in very many games and had lost our direction. In 2023 we only competed in five events, one at Stoke Mandeville, one at Saracens and the others with Brighton Buccaneers. This was mostly because we were short on available players and didn’t have the funds to spend on tournaments and had to prioritise training and building a team.

Over the last six months, thanks primarily to Canterbury Rugby Club and Giles Hilton their chairman, we have rebuilt our team, volunteers, community connections and have become a supportive family. We have raised money from club sponsors, supporters, players, club events including golf days and the Canterbury Bike Ride. We are currently in a pretty strong position where we can support ourselves for most of 2024 without having to worry about paying the bills. This doesn’t mean we can sit on our laurels by any means and you will see fundraising events on social media throughout the year.

I also have to acknowledge and remember the passing of long term supporters, volunteers and members of the Hellfire extended family who are no longer with us. Former Chairman Brian Pitchford has been given a posthumous life membership to both Hellfire and Canterbury Rugby Club. We miss him and his bad jokes. Also Gill Lurie who went all over the country to support us. She left a gift in her will which will be used to help the next generation of Hellfire players and, in her honour, we created the Gill Lurie Cup, an annual game against Brighton Buccaneers where the winning team is presented with a cup and the bragging rights that come with it.

The contribution from volunteers is vital for every rugby team, both able bodied and disability teams. I have to thank the growing involvement from all of the volunteers connected with Hellfire. It’s truly amazing what can be achieved when people give even a small amount of time and it has to be said that everyone within the team is fantastic at getting stuck in. We wouldn’t be able to run without their help.

So here we are in 2024. A new year with a whole heap of exciting potential. Hellfire will continue to arrange friendly matches with team including Saracens, Harlequins, Crawley and of course Brighton Buccaneers. We will also be part of GBWRs South East development league with Stoke Mandeville Maulers, Berkshire Banshees and again Brighton Buccaneers. We will kicking the league off with a home game mid February, watch for more details very soon.

We are continuing to try and expand into the community to both raised awareness of the amazing game and help other organisations in their efforts. We have started talks with the MS Centre to create wheelchair fitness events. We will once again be supporting the Canterbury Bike Ride.

But, our biggest ambition for 2024 is to grow our members and player numbers and this is where everyone reading this can play a role. We are want to talk to anyone with a disability that uses a wheelchair in daily life. If you know of an organisation, charity or club that has disabled members then drop us a line.

We also will be reaching out to every Rugby Union club in Kent to see if they can help spend the word. If you are connected to a rugby club then send is an email to

Again, thanks to everyone who has supported us and the committee, we promise big things for 2024.