wheelchair rugby!

Our friend, Austin Purnell (WES '08) working on a really inpriing project this year. He's working together with Jonathan Sigworth (WES '10) and others to help create India's first competitive wheelchair rugby team. To find out more about the work that they're doing- read this message from AP and please forgive my almost constant shout out to my alma mater (apparently, I love that place):

At the end of the school year I became acquainted with Jonathan Sigworth (Wesleyan '10) who explained how his life was forever altered from a spinal injury he incurred while visiting India. Last Christmas Jon and other volunteers went back to Delhi to establish India's first and only competitive wheelchair rugby team.

In 14 days I will be traveling with Jon, his mother, and three others for the second leg of this project. I will be there for 100 days (Sep 1-Dec 20) both helping Jon establish a second rugby team in Pune, and documenting the entire situation of quadriplegics in India, with the hope that they can be afforded the same level of independence and opportunity enjoyed by many disabled persons here. We are applying for a number of film grants (D.C./CT Arts, Sundance Docs, etc. and sponsorships (Modell's Sporting Goods, Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation, The Sports Authority etc.)

I've been working films, collaborating with my sister's one-woman production company (Packing Light Ltd!) and honing my cinematography skills all summer, and I also want to see what India is all about. This is my first long term project on the other side of the camera, but it's just the thing that could both get me started (somewhat) in the world of film, and catalyze concrete positive changes for dozens of people in the process. And rest assured that I'll be BLASTING out the periodic facebook travel notes full steam while abroad. Yall know how i do! So I promise to keep you in the loop.

As of today, I have about $3,500 left to raise in order to fund the entire stay, so I'm calling on nearly everyone I have ever known to help us in this effort.

If you or anyone you know are interested or are able to make a donation or support us in other ways, please read the details below. You can also watch the promo trailer at or call me with any questions: (301) 367-0698 from USA.


Austin Purnell
Documentarian, Mid-Atlantic Associate
T: (301) 367 0698 from USA

EDIT: It's now possible to donate via paypal!


I V Y O L O G Y said...

Oh man, this is totally inspiring and lovely. I love people like Austin! I was in a wheelchair for 3 years (I know,I can't compare, but), I can imagine how cool and encouraging this project will be for the team. More power (and moolah) to them <3

Austin said...

THANK YOU dearest...