GB Captain Chris Ryan Q+A
In this GBWR news update LondonWRC player Chris Ryan was selected to be GB captain, a promotion from his previous role as Vice-Captain. Chris will compete in his first tournament as Captain at the European Championships in Finland. The winners and runners up at the Europeans get automatic qualification to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. So as you can read in the update, GB “want to be in that space!”
I caught up with Chris to ask his thoughts and feelings on being Captain and about the GB team itself...
Q. How does it feel to be selected as Captain and how do you think it differs from Vice-Captain?
A. It's firstly a huge honour and something I'm very proud of. The main difference between the two roles is the way you feel a little more responsible for your teams preparation, the way we conduct ourselves and the team dynamic. It's not something I was expecting so soon but will do everything I can to help make the team as comfortable as possible and ready to beat our European opponents.
Q. In regards to the European Championships, how confident are you of a winner or runner up position and therefore qualifying for the 2016 Paralympics?
A. I'm confident we can get to the final and succeed in Finland. We must be ruthless and have no complacency and we can go all the way.
Q. Could you give us a quick rundown of a week in the life of a professional wheelchair rugby athlete?
A. Well my training week starts on Monday. I train with LWRC on a Monday and Wednesday for a combined total of 5 hours. On Tuesday and Thursday I complete a weights session followed by a strength based chair session with our strength and conditioning coach. I then try and fit in weights on the weekend on top of all the video analysis work we must do. As for media, that varies, building up to big competitions there is more but it's not been too hectic so far. Anytime I can I will spend time with my girlfriend, family and friends.
Q. With news of the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge 2015 being broadcast on ITV, do you feel any more pressure when you’re going to be seen on National television?
A. No I don't. I think the main reason for this is the intensity of the sport. You don't have a moment to think about the cameras.
Q. Yourself and five other members of the GB squad (Jim Roberts, Mandip Sehmi, Ross Morrison, Bulbul Hussain and Johnny Coggan) train with LondonWRC. How does it feel to train with fellow GB teammates in your National club and vice versa?
A. It's a real luxury to be able to play with this calibre of player at every session possible. There is a wealth of knowledge within these players and one thing I've admired about this club is the way they share their ideas and help each other become better players.
Thanks to Chris for giving his time. I for one am looking forward to seeing Chris leading the GB Squad as captain, his knowledge and fitness are forever increasing. With his remarkably calm persona and passion for the sport I'm positive his confidence regarding the Euros will be backed up. Congrats Chris!