Written by Jim Roberts
Edited by Genevieve Gordon
It’s hard to believe how fast it’s come around. It doesn’t seem 4 years since 2012, where I was just another spectator. It has been a lot of hard work, we’ve had fun times and sad times along the way, but this is it – we are in RIO!
We’re ready to go! The anticipation that comes with impending competition has been building the last few months. More than any previous competition, you can tell my teammates and myself are all mentally in that place where we just want to go and compete now.
The last couple of camps we’ve been lucky enough that a number of foreign players have come to join us at our training camps in Lilleshall. Not only does it ramp up the pressure against the lines we’re working on but it beats the monotony of playing against each other.
Tempers can always run high at training camps. We’re all so competitive that if something isn’t going to plan or players are getting tired, we have been know to occasionally vent a bit of frustrations. Especially this time of year just before a major competition everyone is trying that much harder. It gets pretty tiring beating up on each other, so a huge thanks to Raf, Leon & Seb for coming to camps and letting us beat up on them instead of each other.
I know I am ready to compete, but this will be my first Paralympic Games and I honestly have no idea what to expect. I have traveled abroad to lots of different tournaments before, but this will be the first time that I’m competing in a multi event competition. The Paralympics are the third biggest sporting event in the world! Im sure as a team and personally we’ll manage it just like any other competition so that we’re able to compete at the level we expect of ourselves. But I have to say I’m extremely excited about being a part of such an enormous event.
It’s nice looking back and knowing that all the hard work we’ve put in has got us to this point of qualifying to be part of a Paralympic Games. As a team we’ve developed massively together. We’ve constantly been pushing each other and the coaching staff to constantly better ourselves. Anyone looking in on the team can see how much we’ve developed in a relatively short period of time. I’m massively proud to be a part of this team.
All that’s left now is to get on the court and prove how good we can be. Wish us luck!