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Wheelchair Rugby My Experience –

Joel Connor-Saunders

When did you start playing wheelchair rugby?

I took up wheelchair rugby in December of 2021. At a taster day held by GBWR, I instantly fell in love with the sport and found myself at my first GB development camp 2 weeks later! Since then, I have been lucky enough to play all over the UK and represent GB talent in Denmark and USA as well as now playing for LondonWRC. I am hoping to take this sport as far as I can and represent GB at the highest level!


What do you like about wheelchair rugby?


There are many things I love about wheelchair rugby, including it being a contact sport. This has allowed me to express myself in ways I have never had the opportunity to before. It’s allowed me to be physical and competitive and focus on my strengths rather than being sat in the side-line at other supporting others. I also love the community the sport has created. I have instantly felt part of a family within the wheelchair rugby world and just simply cannot get enough. LondonWRC has played a key role in this for me and has supported me from the first time I met the members.

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What makes it different to other sports?

The physicality of the sport is what stands out most for me! As a disabled athlete I have never competed in a sport that demands the physical contact that wheelchair rugby does. As well as this the technical, tactical skills and knowledge it takes to win separates it from other sports I have tried before.


What impact it has had on you?


In such a short time wheelchair rugby has had a massive impact on my life! I went to the taster day when I was feeling very lonely and without a clear goal in life. Instantly I knew that this sport would give me that purpose and something to work towards! It’s also given me that regular social outlet with others that live similar lives to mine, with similar goals and ambitions. If I’m being totally honest it has helped me come out of a very dark and lonely place and given me everything I need to try and make something of myself.


What are your aspirations for the future?


My aspirations for the future are to break into the GB Elite team and represent my country at a Paralympic level! I want to be the best player in the world in my classification.

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