ParalympicsGB has today announced the Wheelchair Rugby squad who will represent Great Britain at this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Twelve athletes have been announced for this high intensity sport with the majority of the team benefitting from the experience of competing at multiple Paralympic Games.

Captained by Chris Ryan and Gavin Walker the selected athletes are: Ayaz Bhuta, Jonathan Coggan, Ryan Cowling, Nicholas Cummins, Kylie Grimes, Aaron Phipps, Jim Roberts, Stuart Robinson, Jack Smith, Jamie Stead.

The ParalympicsGB wheelchair rugby team

Co-captain Ryan said: “It’s an enormous privilege being selected to captain the team for the Tokyo Games. It goes without saying that these are no ordinary Games and for us it’s been a real challenge, but we are in good shape and ready to take on the best. I would like to thank all of our fundraisers and sponsors for helping us through the last four years – we intend to do you proud in Tokyo!

Penny Briscoe, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission at Tokyo 2020, said:

“I would like to congratulate the athletes selected for the first team sport to be confirmed as part of ParalympicsGB for Tokyo 2020.

“Wheelchair Rugby has a proud record of competing at every Games since it was introduced to the schedule as a test event at Atlanta 1996 and this squad boasts a vast array of talent and experience. I would like to pay testament to their resilience, dedication and hard work over the last 14 months. Despite the challenges and restrictions due to the pandemic, they have maintained an unerring focus on their goal for Tokyo. I can’t wait to see them compete in a little over 80 days’ time.”

Kylie Grimes returns to the wheelchair rugby team

Wheelchair Rugby was introduced to the Paralympic programme as a test event at Atlanta 1996 and the ParalympicsGB team has competed at every Games since, finishing fifth at Rio 2016.

More recently in 2019, Great Britain were crowned European champions - retaining the title for the third successive occasion, and their seventh overall. Ten of the athletes announced today were part of that gold medal-winning squad.

Head coach Paul Shaw added: “Congratulations to all the athletes who have been selected. They have remained totally committed throughout and have worked hard to compensate for the loss of team training and competition. There have been many virtual tactical sessions and a great deal of ‘home alone’ physical and mental preparation. It’s been good to have the squad back since January – they have worked incredibly hard and we know we can do something special in Tokyo.”

A total of around 240 athletes from 19 sports are expected to make up British team that will compete in Japan, with further names to be announced in the coming months.

ParalympicsGB captured the imagination of the British public at London 2012 winning 120 medals in front of sell-out crowds with countless memorable performances.

The team eclipsed that performance at Rio 2016 winning an outstanding 147 medals including 64 golds to finish second in the overall medal table. The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be staged from 24th August to 5th September.

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