We are over the moon that Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team have made history to win their first ever gold medal. They were the first European team to reach the finals of the Paralymics and on Sunday 29th August 2021, they beat the USA 54-49.
We are proud to support all of the team after a particularly hard year. Jim Roberts who is a Get Kids Going! ambassador and supported athlete was top scorer with 24 tries while Stuart Robinson scored 14. Great Britain took an early lead against the United States and never really let it go.
Jim Roberts said: “That was one to remember. I play to win every game I go into, so that’s what I wanted to come for. We knew there would be some amazing teams here. USA are a class act, and it was just amazing to meet them in the final. They always beat us in the major tournaments and it was nice to put a nail in that one.“
Ayaz Bhuta pictured above with Jim Roberts and below with head coach Paul Shaw “We beat USA in the Paralympic final by 5 to clinch the Gold medal, the first ever in GB Wheelchair Rugby history!
“It’s been a crazy 5 years since the disappointment at Rio 2016 – losing funding, being dropped from the team, Covid and many injuries but it’s all been worth it!!!!!
“There’s so much I could say but I can’t find the words as I’m on cloud 9! Thank you everyone for all your support throughout these years, there’s too many to name but you know who you are.”
Kylie Grimes has become the first woman to win a wheelchair rugby gold. She said:
“I don’t want a women’s league, I want to stay with the boys. I’d love it to always stay a mixed team. It is unique, different, brings different elements and I’d personally love playing with the boys and would not want that to change.
“I hope I can inspire girls to give it a go. Women can match the men. It’s about tactics, skills, using the brain, using the top two inches when you need it under pressure.”
Get Kids Going! are very proud long term supporters of the GB wheelchair rugby team and the last two years have been particularly hard for all athletes, so your fundraising really means so much. As the team’s CEO David Pond said without that support the team “just could not have made it to Tokyo”.
Although the scorers get the glory the sport is such a team effort it was great to hear from defence blockers such as Jonathan Coggan and Ryan Cowling.
“We provide those blocks and those areas to push in so we’re just as useful as them” said Cowling of the scorers.
“It’s very surreal to be honest. We came into the competition thinking that we could do well, but to come away with gold, it’s beyond our expectations really. We wanted to be that first European rugby team to medal at the Paralympics and we did more than just medal – we won gold!”
CEO David Pond uploaded a video of the medal ceremony which you can see below.
CEO David Pond said “A gold medal wow! Team triumphed because they believed trusted & supported one another. Its taken extraordinary resilience commitment & love of family friends supporters to get here I couldn’t be happier that their dreams have been realised composed. It feels like it’s all coming together at the right time.”
Japan, who Team GB beat to reach Sunday’s final, beat defending champions Australia to win the bronze-medal match 60-52.
Catch up with daily updates from CEO David Pond on the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby website
gbwr.org.uk. We are so proud of the team and look forward to welcoming them back home with all of their golf medals!