Rotherham athlete co-captains GB wheelchair rugby team in Tokyo

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Rotherham paralympian Gavin Walker is on a quest for gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Gavin is the co-captain of Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team, currently playing over in Japan.

The sport, also known as “murderball,” was one of the biggest hits of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where Gavin made his paralympic debut.

The former Brinsworth Comprehensive pupil joined the fire service in 2003 but his life changed significantly when an accident, slipping on wet decking in 2010, resulted in a spinal injury. During his rehab he was introduced to wheelchair rugby and in 2011 he went to his first training session.  Gavin was selected to join the Development Squad in 2011 and joined a new cohort of players who now make up the main body of the national squad.

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Gavin continued to work for the fire service in Sheffield until 2012.  In 2013 he was selected for the national squad and became a full-time athlete. At the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games he was consistently within the team’s starting line.

At the 2019 European Championships Gavin was a co-captain and helped lead the team to their third consecutive European title.

In Tokyo, the team has come through the group stage to face hosts Japan in the semi-final tomorrow (Saturday).

Before the Games, Gavin said: “For me this is my second opportunity and I’m just going to take it and get as much out of it as possible.

“It is up there as the highest achieving tournament for us and it would be the pinnacle for many people.

“The support that I get from family and friends at home, without that, I don’t think you’d be able to be the athlete that you need to be to perform at this level.”

Images: GBWR / imagecomms

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