Kyran Bishop says that playing Wheelchair Rugby changed his life, as the Ospreys Wheelchair Rugby Team Player of the Year prepares to help showcase the sport at the Para Sport Festival (1-7 August), which is being organised by Disability Sport Wales.
The inaugural Wheelchair Rugby Welsh Open will be held in the Main Hall at the Swansea Bay Sports Park on Sketty Lane on the penultimate day of the festival (Saturday 6 August) – and everyone is welcome to come and watch and find out more about this high-energy sport!
Four clubs will compete in the WR5s tournament – with Newport Dragons and Ospreys representing South Wales, RGC representing North Wales and from England the Tiger Seals, which will be made up of a combination of players from Help 4 Heroes and Leicester Tigers.
The local Ospreys Wheelchair Rugby Team is made up of a group of passionate players and volunteers who have developed the sport.
The super-friendly family-orientated club is made up of male and female players with a broad range of disabilities. They play both 5s and 4s (the Paralympic version) competitively in league tournaments. People also play to keep fit, have fun and meet new people. The club also has a vibrant and growing youth team.
Becoming involved with the Ospreys Wheelchair Rugby Team has not only had a positive impact on Kyran but on his family too. Since he started playing, his mother Rachael has become the club’s Secretary and his father Michael is now the club mechanic, fixing punctures or problems with the chairs during training and tournaments.
“Kyran has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair,” says Rachael.
“Growing up certainly had its challenges for Kyran, especially when it came to sport and being included. He became quite withdrawn, and food was his joy in life – so to say finding something he loves has been life-changing is an understatement.
“He now has dreams and aspirations and is fit and healthy and his confidence has grown immensely.
“Kyran has been playing for about five years. He started with the youth team and quickly progressed to the senior team playing his first senior league game at 15 alongside Paralympians and GBWR players.
“Kyran is an integral part of both the 4s and 5s team and has a Paralympic classification of 1.5.
“Wheelchair rugby has changed his life.
Kyran has found somewhere he fits in and belongs and now has an amazing group of friends.
“He works really hard and strives to improve. The opportunities sport has given him are unquestionable. He has won numerous sporting awards, most recently a sports aid award to help him compete and also the Ospreys Wheelchair Rugby Player of the Year title.
“The positive impact sport has had on Kyran’s life is mind-blowing.
“To see him grow from a shy unconfident bored teenager to a confident passionate healthy young man is absolutely priceless.”
“I eat sleep and breath wheelchair rugby,” says Kyran.
“It’s been life-changing for me in so many ways and I have dreams of being a Paralympian one day.
“I have so many positive role models in my life to look up to. No matter what your disability, don’t be scared to get out there and try new things. It really is the best thing I have ever done in my life.”
For more information on the Para Sports Festival – including how to get involved as a volunteer or to come and give disability sport a go at the festival – please visit parasportsfestival.co.uk
Wheelchair Rugby Welsh Open – provisional fixture timetable
Saturday 6 August
- 10:00: RGC v Dragons
- 10:50: Ospreys v Dragons
- 11:40: RGC v Tiger Seals
- 13:00: Ospreys v Tiger Seals
- 13:50: Dragons v Tiger Seals
- 14:40: RGC v Ospreys
- 15:30: 3rd v 4th
- 16:20: 1st v 2nd
- 17:10: Presentation
About the Para Sport Festival (1-7 August)
The week-long Para Sport Festival begins with an insport Series event on Monday 1 August at the Swansea Bay Sports Park (Swansea University, Sketty Lane, Swansea, SA2 8QB) – which will provide grassroots and initial participation opportunities for children, young people and adults.
The format of the insport Series event will enable participants, coaches and a wider network of volunteers to expand their experiences, access sports they may not have considered as available or accessible, and make connections with local clubs providing great, sustainable opportunities within an inclusive environment.
Over 20 sports will be available for participants to participate in, from athletics to wheelchair rugby, all delivered by local insport Clubs and National Governing Bodies of Sport. These opportunities all link to a local pathway into established local inclusive clubs (insport Clubs) from across south-west Wales.
The Para Sport Festival is free to access and information and registration details are available at: parasportfestival.co.uk
For more information, please contact Paul Evans DSW Communications Officer on: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07710 743167