9. A Jump To The Present

So up to now my blogs have been a series of instalments covering how I got involved in wheelchair rugby and developed as a player.

I’m currently at GB training camp trying to reflect on a pretty eventful couple of weeks.

With Rio 2016 just around the corner I feel it’s a good time to bring things up to date.

The GB wheelchair rugby team qualified for Rio by winning the European championship. More recently the team selection for Rio was made and I’m very pleased to say I was one of those selected.

The last couple of weeks have been really exciting and quite sobering. I guess for me it’s the first time things are actually starting to feel real. After all the hard work, I will actually be going to Rio as a member of the Wheelchair Rugby team representing Team Paralympics GB!

People often ask me when does your achievement sink in. Kit drop off was my realisation moment; I was like a little kid at Christmas. Two huge bags full of Paralympic GB branded team kit, I literally spent the whole morning trying everything on.

I attended the launch of the Channel 4 ‘Return of the Superhumans’ campaign (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/were-the-superhumans/). I was lucky enough to be involved in the production of the advert and even make a brief appearance, but seeing it finished for the first time absolutely blew me away, I think the team that put it together have done a phenomenal job! With the huge amount of amazing people showcased, hopefully it will inspire a whole new wave of people with disabilities to try a sport.

The Team Paralympics GB launch was a couple of days later. This was the first time that all the sports had been together during this 4 year cycle. It was a huge eye opener for me. Just seeing all the other athletes in one place made me realise what a huge logistical task it must be to bring everyone together for an event as big as the Paralympics. I am massively proud to be representing my country but after attending the team launch that feeling has been amplified by seeing so many people with the same purpose and drive. Also an increased appreciation of the incredible support we get, not just by our own team of incredible support staff but by the whole of Paralympics GB, it really felt like we were one team.

The day after the Team launch it was back to reality with a bang! Back to Lilleshall, our GB training base. This was the sobering moment, the journey hasn’t finished yet! There’s no complacency in the squad, getting to Rio is not enough. I know as a team we want to make everyone proud. With just over a month before we get on a plane to Brazil, we still have work to do!