Wheelchair rugby ace shares his secrets at primary school

PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 March 2014

The youngsters get shown the ropes by wheelchair rugby ace Chris Ryan

The youngsters get shown the ropes by wheelchair rugby ace Chris Ryan

Archant

A Great Britain wheelchair rugby star on the road to Olympic glory showcased his sport at a Welwyn Garden City school.

"If I’m being honest, I would struggle without my sport"

Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan, 22, gave youngsters at Springmead Primary School a talk about his career and the benefits of being active. The Panshanger resident enthralled more than 240 kids with tales of his success in the brutal full-contact sport, which could see him competing in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

While most people may prefer explaining their passion to children than hitting people full-bore, Chris confessed he would much rather be on the court.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I said to a friend last night ‘I would be more scared of doing this than playing a bit of sport’.

“I’m used to sport, I’m not scared of sport, I’m not used to doing this.”

Great Britain wheelchair rugby player Chris RyanGreat Britain wheelchair rugby player Chris Ryan

Chris revealed how he took up the game following a serious road accident in 2008, which left him disabled.

He was a promising teenage golfer before the crash, and threw himself into the game afterwards.

Rising to the top of the domestic league with the London Wheelchair Rugby Club, he was selected for Team GB and awarded the vice-captaincy of the national team.

Chris told the throng of children how hard it is to get to the top.

And when a youngster asked him what he would do without the game, he said: “If I’m being honest, I would struggle without my sport.

“I don’t know what I would do exactly. I would probably play table tennis, it’s fun but it’s nothing like this.

“We travel round the world with people, who you become really good friends with, instead of playing table tennis on your own.”

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