As Optimistic As I Was This Time Last Year…

Photo credit: Anthony Hayton This time last year I commented that I was optimistic that 2018 was going to be a year to remember for all the right reasons, and looking back I think that optimism has proved well placed. We have continued to see new people join our sport, WR5s seems to have taken off very quickly, our Junior Programme in partnership with Lord’s Taverners is proving popular and the GB team had a very successful World Championship in Sydney. Now, I am not pretending that everything in the basket is rosy, and in p...
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Wheelchair Rugby – Something for Everyone

Along with the rest of the nation, and many others across the world, GBWR acknowledged all who have died in the cause of freedom by pausing the Super Series games on Sunday and spending 2 minutes in silent reflection. The Paralympic movement has a particular affinity with the military and can be considered a positive outcome of armed conflict. The original purpose of the games was to assist the large number of war veterans and civilians who had been injured during wartime. In 1944, Dr Ludwig Guttmann opened a spinal injuries centre at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital and, in t...
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#ThisGirlCan & Invictus Sydney

Ella Beaumont, Stoke Mandeville Maulers (photo credit: Anthony Hayton) One of the things I often get asked by people who have not seen our sport is, ‘do you have a women’s team?’ When I reply that ours is a mixed sport with men and women playing in the same teams, they are usually a bit taken aback. I can see them thinking about chairs colliding and worrying about an unequal physical match. Of course what they have not understood is that functionality is more important than gender and that our classification process ensures...
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Autumn Events

It was good to see some of you at the AGM in Leicester and I know that Trustees appreciated the opportunity to talk to members and staff. Thank you also to those who submitted proxy votes. I remember my time as a rugby player and how AGMs never really interested me; all I wanted to do was to play and I am sure many of you are the same. But the AGM is an important part of any Membership organisation as it provides an opportunity for members’ views to be heard and to hold the Board and executive team to account – in short to make sure they are doing what members want and ...
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Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: Japan Win the World Championship

Japan were crowned 2018 IWRF World Champions this afternoon following a stunning victory over host nation Australia 62-61. The spectators were also winners as they witnessed wheelchair rugby at its most exciting, with the lead constantly changing as both sides played fast, open rugby. It was Australia who took the lead 15-14 at Q1 only to see it slide away early in Q2 when they conceded a series of turnovers which saw Japan lead at half time 32-28. Australia came out firing at Q3 and quickly turned things around to lead by 2 tries. Most of us thought that Japan had let the ...
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Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: Taking On the World Number One

It was a great feeling to wake up this morning and to know that we were in the last four of the World championship. Yes, I was feeling nervous about taking on the home nation Australia, the no. 1 in the world. but I reflected that this was better than playing for 5th/6th position, the place we have found ourselves in all recent tournaments. For a while we have known we are better than that, so I thought it’s now just a case of proving that and of knowing just how much better we are! There could be no tougher test than taking on Australia and the legendary pairing of Ryle...
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