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 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.
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
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.