Matt Skelhon vows to come back stronger after Paralympics

Multiple Paralympic medallist, Matt Skelhon, broke the qualifying Paralympic record at Rio 2016, but was just two points off the top eight for the Tokyo Paralympics. Matt is a former Get Kids Going! supported athlete receiving his first sports wheelchair and a grant from us.

Matt’s fame began at the Beijing 2008 Games where, with his distinctive red Mohican, the Peterborough athlete hit a perfect score in R3 to win gold only two years after taking up the sport.

Matt was disappointed with his results on the last day of the Paralympics at Tokyo and said “I gave it everything and it wasn’t enough.

“Today, I think I couldn’t handle the pressure. I really lost it. I am well out of competition practice, and it showed out there.

“I think 90% of it is mental – if the equipment is on point then the rest is mental – knowing you’re at a level to compete with others but we really haven’t had that with no exposure to competition for two years.”

But Matt is a fighter and is looking ahead to the future:

“I am sure now we can get a proper competition schedule in place I will be able to get amongst it again and build my confidence back up before the World Championships next year.” he said.

“I plan some time off so I can regroup and be ready for next year.”

Matt and fellow shooter and Get Kids Going! supported athlete, Issy Bailey, were one of the few athletes who took part in the Opening Ceremony at Tokyo this year.

After the ceremony Matt said “What an evening! So proud to be one of the few who got to take part in the Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony! Let the games begin and the medals roll in.”

We would like to congratulate all of our Get Kids Going! supported athletes and previous supported athletes, like Matt, for their amazing achievements. Check out our Paralympics news page for the results and look out for more updates as the athletes reflect on their performances now that are home.