The game has an exciting future

I am currently hearing much talk about the legacy of the games and by that I guess people are thinking about what are we left to build on after the games. I actually prefer the term the BPA use which is ‘momentum’ in other words how do we build on the momentum and interest created by the games. For us, like many sports I am sure, this is critical. We are getting many enquiries from people who are keen to become involved in our sport. Some are interested in playing, others want to learn to coach or to become officials and others just want to volunteer to help in any way they can. It is really important that we respond immediately to this interest even if at this stage we just acknowledge and record it before following up as quickly as possible with opportunities to visit clubs and see the game at first hand. The focus for the next year or so will very much be about building for the future. In many ways that is what we have been focused on since we started the change programme over 2 years ago but now with the games behind us we can place even greater emphasis on this. The immediate task is to refine our investment plans ready to present to the Sport England and UK Sport Investment Boards in the next few weeks. This is critically important as the main part of our overall funding hinges on a successful result. We have been working hard on this since February so are hopeful that we are rewarded for our work with good funding settlements when they are announced in December. But in building for the future we cannot afford to wait for this and so we also have other things ongoing. First there is the Development squad which comes together again at the end of this month under the strong coaching team of Paul Shaw and Justin Frishberg who will be supported by Head Coach Tom O’Connor. In this squad we have the early shoots of many who will be representing GB in Rio in 2016. A team will be selected from the Development squad to play in the Czech Republic in November. Next we have the work we are doing to support clubs. Look out for the details of a club conference we intend to hold in January and also for a series of coaching courses that the Head Coach will be running. We are also supporting the development of a new club in the Southampton area and will be providing some chairs here to help them get started. Over the next few weeks I am also meeting with Harlequins, Saracens, Help For Heroes the Lord Taverners, and the Matt Hampson Foundation, all of whom will be playing a part in the future development of wheelchair rugby in GB. These are really exciting times for us and our sport and we need to be alive to new ideas and opportunities and  to ensure that we are welcoming and open to all of the people who are now knocking on our doors to become involved in the game – this is the legacy of the games and this is the momentum on which we must build if we are to grow the game and create medal winning teams

David Pond