Europeo RSR Oviedo'19

Wheelchair rugby is a specific sport for people with severe disabilities. How would you define it?

When I started playing I was instantly hooked by the sport. I got to meet people who have gone through similar experiences as me following a spinal-cord trauma. What I soon realised was this wasn't about a disability it was about myself and my teammates abilities. Wheelchair rugby is a tactical sport and what I found exciting is the physical nature and full contact between the wheelchairs. There is no other sport like wheelchair rugby.

Spain is making its debut in an official wheelchair rugby competition. How do the IWRF see the progression of rugby in our country? How do you see it 10 years from now?

I met with representatives from the Federación Española de Deportes de Personas con Discapacidad Física in Madrid in September 2018. I was really impressed with the work that had been done with several club teams already competing regionally within Spain. Only one year on and the organisation have seen the benefit of hosting an international championship event. I can only imagine that in 10 years time, we will see some fantastic talent and more clubs being established. I fully expect to see Spain competing at the highest level in Europe in 10 years. Who knows, maybe even a Paralympic Games in the not too distant future!

What would you say to the people of Oviedo to encourage them to see this European Championship C?

Come along! If you want to watch some great sport and meet some inspirational athletes then we would love to see you supporting your national team.

What expectations does the IWRF have in the organizational section of the Championship?

There are three Championship events in Europe which were only recently established. This is a reflection of the growth of the game. We will see some of the newly established and rapidly developing nations attending and I would expect to see the sport being promoted in a positive and exciting way.
I have every confidence in the organising committee and Oviedo in hosting a great event.

How do you see the medium-term future of Quad Rugby on an international level?

Wheelchair rugby is an exciting and dynamic sport and is part of the wider Paralympic Movement. We have seen this movement grow particularly through some groundbreaking Paralympic Games. We have inspirational athletes and our values come from the people who are involved throughout our sport. With good leadership and a strong International Federation I believe we can attract exciting partnerships to support the growth and development of a sport that makes a huge difference to many people's lives.