If you rewind five years in the build up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, one young player was about to become a Paralympian.
Myles Pearson, the youngest player selected for the GB squad in London 2012, was playing for his hometown club West Coast Crash, the club where his wheelchair rugby story began as a teenager. Following a fifth place finish in 2012 Paralympic Games, Pearson moved to Southampton to study at Solent University and play for Team Solent Sharks.
After helping Sharks gain promotion to the BT Super Series Division One and narrowly missing out on a place in Paul Shaw’s squad for Rio 2016, Pearson is now back living in the North West, playing for Crash and back on the international scene, gearing up for his third European Championships.
“It certainly feels like I have stepped into a time machine. It is good to be back at Crash and it feels like home. I am also extremely privileged to be back with GB and I am really looking forward to the European Championships.” Said Pearson.
The former Southampton Solent University student says that he has improved since his Paralympics debut in 2012: “I think I am more mature now. I am more able to commit and focus on all the important things and I know that I need to keep working hard.
“I am enjoying my rugby at the moment and a lot of credit has to go to Sharks. During my time in Southampton, they made me realise what is important and that is rugby, friendship and commitment to the team.” He added.
Pearson will be making it a hat-trick of European Championships when the squad head to Koblenz at the end of the month and he is hoping that he can add to the sliver and bronze medals he picked up in 2011 and 2013.
“Winning gold would be unbelievable, the cherry on the cake for this year and my career so far. We are focussed on winning that first game against Poland and at the moment the gold medal is still a long way away.”
Paul Shaw’s side will face Poland in their opening Group B match on June 27th before playing Ireland a day later. Their final game of the group stages comes on June 29th in a match against Denmark before the knockout stages of the competition.