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Community Scoop » Sky Originals goes behind the scenes with Aotearoa’s Wheel Blacks to create documentary series Wheel Blacks: Bodies On The Line

Community Scoop » Sky Originals goes behind the scenes with Aotearoa’s Wheel Blacks to create documentary series Wheel Blacks: Bodies On The Line

Press release – Sky

Sky Originals NZ presents Wheel Blacks: Bodies on the Line, a three-part documentary series following the New Zealand wheelchair rugby team the Wheel Blacks as they fight for survival and a chance to qualify for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Wheel Blacks: bodywork on the Sky Open Sky Sports Neon August 2024 line. Photo/contributed.

Sky Originals NZ presents Wheel Blacks: Bodywork on the Linea three-part documentary series following the New Zealand wheelchair rugby team, the Wheel Blacks, as they battle to rise above dwindling resources and earn a chance to qualify for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games. Directed by Robyn Paterson of Sweet Production (For love), and produced with the support of NZ On Air, the series will premiere on Sky Open on Sunday 18 August at 8:30pm, before airing on Sky Sport 1 on Monday 19 August at 8:30pm. All episodes will be available on Neon from 19 August.

Wheel Blacks: Bodywork on the Line behind the scenes to meet the players, as well as the excitement and tension of the tournaments. The series provides a glimpse into the dramatic, brutal and fascinating sport played exclusively by athletes who have quadriplegic disabilities, capturing the highs and lows of Wheel Black’s life, both on and off the pitch. It’s a world that producer and editor – and former Wheel Black – Jai Waite knows personally. Waite was part of the winning Wheel Blacks team that won gold at the 2004 Athens Paralympics 20 years ago.

In a world where top international teams have high-performance budgets in the millions, the Wheel Blacks are struggling, relying on fundraising, charity and volunteers. A lack of resources means that local player numbers are dwindling – the team is not only fighting for a place at the Paralympics, but also for the future of a sport that has changed their lives and inspired so many. Can the Kiwi underdogs rise up and is there a future for wheelchair rugby in Aotearoa?

Co-producer and director Robyn Paterson says:Wheelchair rugby is an exciting sport and we were motivated by the desire to see the Wheel Blacks receive the recognition they deserve in Aotearoa.

I knew Jai for many years before we started Sweet Productions together, and over that time I have grown to love the game through him and other players. With Jai’s personal insights, it makes perfect sense that this is Sweet’s first production.”

Co-producer and editor Jai Waite says:Wheelchair rugby and the Wheel Blacks are taonga that I carry within me and have been instrumental in my journey from my accident, to acceptance, to thriving in life with a disability. This year we celebrate 20 years at the pinnacle of the sport, winning gold in Athens

Paralympics – it’s important to me that we bring awareness to the sport here in New Zealand and encourage more players to come.

Sky Originals NZ Senior Commissioner Nick Ward says: “Beautifully produced by Sweet Productions, a disability rights company, Wheel Blacks: Bodies on the Line continues Sky Originals NZ’s mission of authentically telling local stories that inspire and entertain.”

Wheel Blacks: Bodies on the Line premieres on Sky Open on 18th August at 8:30pm, before airing on Sky Sport 1 on 19th August at 8:30pm (episodes aired weekly). All episodes will be available on Neon from 19th August. Produced with the support of NZ On Air.

Content comes from scoop.co.nz
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