Refill My Glass Please!
Well it’s a new year. The future is still hugely unknown regarding Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and our funding situation, but I know there are some extremely determined people working behind the scenes to make sure that the UK Sport funding cuts are not the end for GBWR.
I know the whole GBWR set up is working incredibly hard to ensure a GB team competes at the European Championships with the goal of retaining the top spot we claimed two years ago and affirming our place as the number one team in Europe.
The Christmas holiday period was really important for me to have some time out to think about what I want to do with my future and I spoke to family and friends at length. With my funding still up in the air, whether to continue playing wheelchair rugby has obviously being weighing heavily on my mind.
So, what do I do?
- Do I continue to play and hope that the funding situation gets resolved, either from the appeal or possibly the team managing to secure funding from another source?
- Do I explore the possibility of whether or not I could take up and compete in a different Paralympic sport?
- Do I give up on sport altogether and find a job in the ‘real world’?
After a huge amount of consideration and conversation, my decision came down to one thing; what do I enjoy the most and where is my heart? I have decided to continue with wheelchair rugby. I genuinely love the sport and the challenges that it presents. There are areas I feel I can, and will, improve as long as I still maintain that feeling of enjoyment whilst participating.
I could obviously fail doing something safe that I do not enjoy, so why settle? Technically, I have died twice so I am hugely determined to do things in this life that make me happy.
I know life is short, but it’s the longest thing I am ever going to do. If it comes to a point where GBWR cannot sustain the elite program, which is obviously a realistic proposition at the moment, that will be a very sad day indeed for me. It will mean I can no longer participate in something which I genuinely love doing.
So for me, my next move is exactly as I planned before the news of the funding cut broke. I am heading back out to the US to complete the club season with the Ability360 Phoenix Heat team. I have to say I am really looking forward to getting back to some warmer weather and intense competition but, as always, it is hard leaving things behind here in the UK, particularly this time with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of my sport.
I am going to keep my fingers crossed that the funding situation resolves itself with a positive outcome for all concerned with the sport but I am going to continue to focus on playing and training just as hard as I have always done. I am constantly striving to be a better player and teammate both on and off the court. This current GB squad has improved so much and, in my opinion, has the potential to go on and achieve big things if we get the level of support that we need. I am fully committed to be part of another Paralympic cycle after Rio2016 and until it gets ripped away from me, that is what i will continue to focus on.
People who wonder if the glass is half full or half empty, miss the point. The glass is refillable…