Date of birth: 17/04/89
Home town: Bolton
Club: West Coast Crash
Disability: Roberts Syndrome
Supported by: Hogan Lovells GB Athlete Bursary
Bolton’s Ayaz Bhuta, is part of the new crop of young talented players to enter the national squad since London 2012. Born with Roberts Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of bones in the arms and legs, Ayaz stands at just 3’ 7” but what he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in character and talent. Originally a wheelchair basketball player, Ayaz started playing club rugby in 2009, and found the more physical elements of the game suited him better.
He was selected to play in a tri-nations tournament in Australia in 2010; Ayaz returned from Australia disappointed after being warned that his size meant he would be unlikely to succeed at international level. However, Ayaz is nothing if not persistent. He stuck with the game and was selected for the GBWR Development Squad in 2011.
At his first Development Squad tournament (Rugby Mania 2012) Ayaz was voted ‘Best in Class’ and from then on he went from strength to strength. In 2013 he made his full GB debut at the Denmark Challenge Cup, where he was again voted ‘Best in Class’.
In Canada Cup 2014 Ayaz was again named the best 2.5 of the tournament. Since his debut Ayaz has developed immensely as a player and was consistently part of the Rio 2016 Paralympic starting line.
Ayaz was a key player in the team’s success at the European Championships in 2017 and is constantly working hard on and off court. Recently having involvement in a charity for young migrants and refugees, Ayaz is looking to continue that work through being a mentor.
2017 European Championships, Germany – 1st
2016 Rio Paralympics – 5th
2016 Canada Cup – 5th
2016 Paralympic Test Event, Rio – 1st
2015 BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge – 5th
2015 European Championships, Finland – 1st
2014 World Championships, Denmark – 5th
2014 Canada Cup – 4th
2013 European Championships – 3rd