Bulbul is originally from Bangladesh but now competes for Great Britain in wheelchair rugby and went on a multi-activity course with Back Up. He lives in Whitechapel, London, and is looking forward to seeing the London 2012 Paralympic Games take place on his doorstep.
Bulbul first started competing in Wheelchair Rugby in 1997 during treatment at Stoke Mandeville following a road traffic accident. At first he did it for fun and to regain some fitness, but after a few training sessions Bulbul decided to commit himself fully to the sport.
He was attracted to the sport because of its speed and the competitive element, Bulbul won a gold medal when he played in his first major tournament at the National Championships in Stoke Mandeville and on making the team he said, “It was hard to break into the squad and took me a long time. I really had to focus and work hard to make it.”
With the London games only days away the three teams most likely to cause the British team problems are the USA, Australia and Canada – the top ranked teams in the world. However, Bulbul believes home advantage will give the British the boost to win gold.
He said: “USA are the favourites but at home we expect to beat them. Last time we played we pushed them to three overtimes, so we were unlucky to lose in a game that could have gone either way. If the luck is on our side then I think we will win a gold medal.”
After the team finished fourth in Beijing, Bulbul considered retiring from the game. “It’s the worst place to finish! I would rather finish fifth or sixth,” he said. “To be so close and not win anything was hard.”
At 38 he was the oldest member of the squad that went to Canada and is unsure if he will continue playing after the Olympics.
“We will have to wait and see,” he said. “I am more likely to finish if we win something, but there are players on other squads in their 50s, so I don’t know yet.”
To find out when Bulbul and the ParalympicsGB rugby team are playing follow this link.