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I-drive News – Team GB: Wheelchair rugby captain Steve Brown tells the Telegraph: ‘I’m concentrating on doing my country proud’

Steve Brown will be captain of Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team at the Paralympic Games this summer.

He has now spoken to the Daily Telegraph about what it means to him.

Steve had his life-changing accident while working as an area manager for a holiday company in cologne. He tripped and fell from a first-floor balcony, snapping his neck and trapping his spinal cord. He has no movement from his chest downwards, his hands are impaired and sensation stops at his wrists.

After being taken to watch the GB wheelchair rugby team by a physiotherapist, Steve was inspired. He told The Telegraph: “A lot of them had similar injuries to me, some had worse, and I thought: ‘If they can be that confident, why can’t I?’ It was a turning point.”

Less than five months after breaking his neck, Steve went to his first wheelchair rugby session and within a year he was selected for the British squad. He was told earlier this year that he would lead the British team at London 2012.

“I’ve never looked back,” he tells journalist Tim Rushby-Smith. People say if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. I don’t think that’s entirely true, but if it doesn’t kill you, it might make you more determined.”

Wheelchair rugby was founded in Canada in 1977 and has been dubbed “murderball” because of its high speed, full contact collisions with opponents smashing into one another as hard as possible, often leading to overturned wheelchairs.

Injuries aren’t uncommon and Steve has suffered broken ribs and a broken sternum from playing the tough sport.

“Every sport has its own level of risk. It’s just a question of assessing whether it’s one you’re willing to take.”

Team GB is ranked sixth in the world, but Steve believes they will have a good shot at winning a medal in what will be the most important tournament of his life.

In other news, Wigan and Leigh People First has been awarded £287,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to support its work helping people with learning difficulties.

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