New wheelchair gives boost to Blackburn teen's Paralympics hope
A TEENAGE rugby player who broke his neck has been given a specialist wheelchair to help him achieve his ambition of representing Great Britain at the Paralympics.
George Claxton, of Sandringham Close, Blackburn, was due to sit his GCSE exams when he landed awkwardly after a tackle playing for Blackburn RUFC. He was left paralysed.
But instead of letting the accident get him down, George proclaimed it was ‘the best thing that had ever happened to him’ and set his sights on becoming a wheelchair rugby Paralympian.
Now aged 16, George is to be given a £6,000 specialist wheelchair by London club Rosslyn Park’s injury trust fund, which gives cash to people injured playing rugby.
The youngster, who has been playing in Southport for wheelchair rugby club Westcoast Crash, will be presented with his wheelchair ahead of Rosslyn Park’s game against Fylde on November 2.
George said: “The first time I took part in a wheelchair rugby practice was one of the most exciting weekends I’ve had in a long time.
“I went to Southport where Westcoast Crash practise and they all made me feel really welcome.
“It felt great getting into a rugby wheelchair for the first time and I had so much fun, although it was extremely exhausting.
“I absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait for my second session.”
George, who is studying for his A levels at St Wilfrid’s School Sixth Form, then took part in his first competitive match at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
He said: “I scored my first goal in my first game.
“I was quite nervous because I had not played in a real match before and was wondering what would happen if I made a mess of things.
“Luckily that didn’t happen and my confidence is now boosted because of my team mates and their support to drive on to score a load more goals.
“Now I am looking forward to playing again and, thanks to the kindness of the Rosslyn Park Injury Trust Fund, having my own special chair to play in will be a great help, so I am very keen to get back into action.”
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