Pandemic affect on Wheelchair Rugby Athletes

We are in unprecedented times, at first it felt as though the world stopped spinning. Now, as most of England is in tier 4, I feel there's a bit of time ahead before we're rolling like we used to.

 

During this pandemic, like most sports, Wheelchair Rugby had to hit the restart button in order to train in the safest way possible. LondonWRC had our risk assessment signed off and everything else needed to get back at it. We even set a date, unfortunately it turned out to be two days after the second lockdown was announced. So we cancelled our return but on the bright side, we're all ready to go on the governments say so.

 

While some of us have a bit more free time on our hands, I wanted to ask our athletes how they're being affected by this pandemic. First up, with over a decade of experience in the sport and a spot on the GB team, it's Paralympian Kylie Grimes...

Q. Do you feel the pandemic has affected you mentally? If so how/why?

The first lockdown was horrendous for me because I’m a very social person, being around people all the time having lots of conversations and hugging people. So to not be able to was extremely hard and got me down. But I focused on keeping a routine, keeping busy, adding things to do into my days and setting goals.


 

Q. Do you feel the pandemic has affected you physically? If so how/why?

No I don’t think it has affected me physically, I’ve still been training 5 days a week and in some ways been working even harder. It’s helped me put more time into stretching, standing, moving. So I feel my flexibility has improved and range of movement but I do feel my rugby chair fitness will be lacking as we’ve had no game play.


 

Q. How do you feel the lack of training has affected you personally and socially?

The lack of training hasn’t affected me to much personally but I do just miss the game of wheelchair rugby. Socially I didn’t realise how important our training sessions were to just be around people and friends until it got taken away! I do just miss adult conversations and laughter with like minded people.


 

Q. How have you kept yourselves healthy and active during lock down?

I have been sticking to a good routine, getting up early, good food, training and recovering well. Then setting new goals, building my website, writing speeches, painting again, doing a 6 week life coach course to gain more confidence and challenge myself further.


 

Q. How do you feel about the Paralympics being postponed?

I was gutted that the Paralympics was postponed another year, because I was set and mentally ready for it. Also heading in the right direction with training and preparing for it. I also wasn’t sure if it was my last Paralympics as I’ve been in the sport nearly 12 years and I’m 33 now so I have other goals I’d like to achieve to!

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