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Meet Rob Dellar


     Usually 15 year old boys are involved in athletics, hobbies and looking for job so they can buy a car.  For Rob Deller, things were not the same.  Rob was battling back problems and had undergone three surgeries by the time he turned twenty-one.  That meant laying flat, leaving school and battling depression, especially finding out that he would never walk again.  After hearing about Easter Seal’s Wheelchair basketball program a couple of years later, things started to turn around a little.  He then learned about a camp for disabled kids called Camp Star that was starting up and decided to volunteer his services. Volunteering at Camp Star inspired Rob to return to school for his diploma and continued on to York Technical Institute for Computer Aided Design.  After graduating he took a job at Buchart Horn in York, Pa, and learned Mechanical engineering on the job, where he worked for almost thirteen years.


     Volunteering, playing and coaching wheelchair basketball provided Rob with a rewarding experience.  He wanted to give back and coaching basketball came naturally to him.  Not only was he a role model on the court, but it extended beyond.  For most of these kids activities of daily living were more complicated due to the level of their disability.  Having Rob as a model showed the kids that they could move beyond disability and do the things they wanted to do, on and off the court.


     Rob continued to shine the way for kids and hasn’t stopped.  Talking about watching these kids grow into independent young adults, brings a smile to his face.  He talked about one boy in particular that started out trying to play baseball.  Unsuccessful, the boy was ready to give-up until Rob introduced him to wheelchair basketball. This boy went on to successfully play wheelchair basketball in college.  Years later, he is still connected to the families of the kids who he has coached.  Coaching kids with disabilities is a lot different than coaching able bodied kids.  Parents are still involved and some super involved, depending on the needs of kid. 


Actually, Rob met his wife Chris, through his involvement in Easter Seals.  Chris had a son, Everett with Cerbal Palsy, who also played wheelchair basketball.  Eventually, Rob joined a basketball club in Philadelphia in which he played and coached kids and had Deller driving from York to Philadelphia two to three times a week.  Rob was leading a high-speed life style, but just like Superman, he realized his kryptonite.  He was wearing out and realized he needed to cut back on something and that something was coaching. 


In 2004, he suffered a bad accident playing wheelchair basketball injuring his left arm and neck from that injury he developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in his left arm.  RSD is a chronic, painful, and progressive neurological condition that affects the skin, muscles, joints, and bones. This made playing wheelchair basketball difficult.  It didn’t stop Rob, he soon found himself playing quad rugby. 


Quad rugby, otherwise known as murderball, involves four players on the court ranging in point values .5 to 3.5 points with a total of no more than 8 points on the floor at one time.  For more details, check out the United States Quad Rugby Association, http://www.quadrugby.com/the_game . 


Quad rugby is a temporary escape from the pain Rob experiences with RSD, since the adrenalin temporarily takes over the burning and aching.  This escape got him noticed and he received an invite to try out for the 2009 US Quad Rugby team. Rob was selected to the Rugby team. 


The team practices about once a month and traveled to Argentina the 25th of October to the 2nd of November for the first ever America Zone Championships. The team arrived in Argentina on warm Monday morning with one thing in mind and that was winning the Gold continuing the US Wheelchair Rugby programs dominance in the sport. The team started off with a rest day on Monday and then had practice and classification on Tuesday and Wednesday, the team also went on a bus tour of the city of Buenos Aires on Wednesday what a beautiful big city Buenos Aires is.


The competition started on Thursday with The USA defeating Brazil 68-8 and later that day defeating Argentina 73-13. On Friday pool play continued with USA defeating Canada 55-34 and then defeating Argentina 62-16 in the crossover game, with pool play over team USA moved on to the championship game on Saturday convincingly defeating Canada 63-26 for the Gold. 


The next thing for team USA and Rob is tryouts in December for the 2010 team which will compete in several tournaments with the most important being to World Championships in Vancouver Canada.


Given the popularity of the sport, Rob continually works out and stays in shape, explaining “there is always someone practicing harder, nipping at your heels, waiting for their chance”.  Becoming a part of this elite team is an honor to Deller.  Why does he do it?  “I have always wanted to represent my country in someway”.  Rob Deller represents more than his country.  He is a role model for all, proving you can be a hero, despite living with a disability. 


Congratulations Rob!