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Catching Up with Brandon
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Catching Up with Brandon

 

Recently, I caught up with Brandon Culp to talk about some of the things he does to keep active.  Brandon plays quad rugby for the Eagles. He became interested in rugby after he saw the movie Murderball and was encouraged to join through a friend, trainer, and former team member Travis.  Prior to his spinal cord injury, Brandon was involved in wrestling, played football in high school, did Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido for 14 years, and ASK Karate for 2yrs. He also did scuba diving in college.

 

On the team he plays midpoint, but hasn’t been officially classified yet, however he thinks he will be a 1.5 or a 2.0. His current temporary classification is a 1.5. Brandon doesn’t handle the ball as much, but set blocks for those who do.  The Eagles have two practices a week; one for developmental players where strategies are reviewed and drills are run and one practice where they scrimmage. All other training is individual and for Brandon, this includes rowing and use of an arm bike at home.  He stays motivated by working his way up to be a midpoint ball handler. This means he has to be quicker than others on the team. It also motivates him to be in better shape for himself.

 

Brandon’s advice:  “You can pretty much do anything you want to after a SCI. You may have to do it differently or it may take you longer to be good at it, but it is possible.”

 

Brandon likes the competition and social aspect of being on the team. He meets new people all the time all up and down the east coast. He describes his best play when a block he sets creates a turnover or allows a fellow team member the time in order to score.

 

Check out the team website http://philadelphiaquadrugby.com

 

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Rowing is another interest of Culp.  The interview below explains… 

 

What made you try rowing?

 

A therapist that is part of our support staff for rugby and Katie Sampson who is another SCI and who is involved in outreach and fundraising encouraged me to go and give it a try.

 

What do you like about it?

 

It was difficult and easy at the same time. It is a technique driven sport therefore doesn’t require as much strength as other adaptive sports require. It’s also relaxing to be out on the water. I used to love being outdoors in nature and this lets me do that. It also exposes me to more disabilities that rugby does not. So I get to mingle with more than just quads and cp’s

 

Describe a rowing experience.

 

I row on Mondays after work on the Schuylkill. The sun is usually setting behind the city skyline, you have all the joggers and cyclists’ going up and down Kelly Drive and it’s all quite beautiful and relaxing.

 

Did you have a race yet?

 

I raced once, I took 3rd place but am very happy with my performance as me and my rowing partner (an able bodied person) did well together. It is important that you match each other’s strokes and we were together the entire race

 

Can anyone row? 

 

About what level can row independently? Anybody can row we have amputees, visually impaired, mentally impaired, ms, spina bifida, spinal cord injury etc. We even use able bodied rowers as doubles for those rowers that are disabled.

 

Learn more about rowing and other adapted sports at http://www.centeronline.com/Index.html

 

 

Thanks Brandon! We wish you the best! 

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