I went to my first wheelchair rugby session the day before I discharged from Stanmore. I had watched them before but was never confident enough to go down and try! Whilst in hospital I met a guy named Steve Brown who was the GB wheelchair rugby Paralympic captain in 2012, he coaches a team in Canterbury roughly a hour from my home, Bromley.
I was shocked from my first session as I loved that I could still play sport let alone learn and play a completely new game. I played rugby to smash people and now I can do the same, just in a wheelchair!
It’s safe to say there are many reasons why I like the new sport, there’s the obvious staying fit factor and competitive drive but weirdly enough the chair itself is a huge element.The chairs you play in are different to those you roll around in all day. They are designed low to the ground and have a very bucketed seat, this means your bum sits low in the chair with your knees as high as your chest. Personally for me I find the rugby chairs so comfy and the sense of freedom you get due to balance and stability is so unlike the position you sit in for the rest of the day. Just make sure you’re strapped in before you play!!
I found pushing the chair so hard at first but now only 6 months on I am a lot quicker, a lot stronger and a lot wiser to the game! Although it may not look complicated it’s so tactical!
My first weekend away playing was in Stoke, the 2nd of 3 weekends within the league. My first chance to play competitively, my debut, I was buzzing! I came on and forgot everything I knew, was just rolling around not having a clue! I did one good pick (rugby term, like a block in American football) which got recorded and of course put straight on Instagram haha!
3 of my pals surprised me up in Stoke which was sick! They loved it and we had a few drinks on the Saturday night inbetween games, them being there to see my first game was much appreciated.
My next weekend for the division is in April back in Stoke and I hope to get more court time and do more when on court!