This summer Steve Brown will lead Great Britain’s 11-strong wheelchair rugby squad in the Paralympics. The team has been confirmed as medal contenders at this year’s Paralympics.
Steve was paralysed from the chest down after an accident in 2005 and first got involved with Back Up soon after. He says:
‘I was introduced to Back Up at a national sporting event held at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Centre in 2006. Everyone from Back Up was spinal cord injured, active and really positive and so soon after I decided to go on a Back Up multi-activity course. It was a challenging experience, putting me outside of my comfort zone and it pushed me to challenge myself in new and exciting ways. I did not expect to be challenged like that so soon after my injury.’
After participating in several other Back Up courses Steve says: ‘The courses helped with my confidence and the wheelchair skills classes gave me the skills essential to getting across varied terrain. There is no doubt that Back Up helped me build my confidence after my injury.’
Steve went on to become a volunteer wheelchair skills trainer for Back Up, helping to train other spinally injured people like himself and now, with the biggest tournament of his life just days away, we asked him what message he hopes the Paralympics will send out to others with spinal cord injuries? He said:
‘I want people to fulfill their potential - If that’s in sport then great but it could be in any walk of life,’ and on being captain of his country and being a role model to others with spinal cord injuries, Steve insists:
‘I don't really see myself as a role model; I’m just doing my best. If following my dream and working to better myself helps others to do the same then I guess that’s good - spinal cord injury or no spinal cord injury.’To find out when Steve and the ParalympicsGB rugby team are playing follow this link.