Cameron, a wheelchair rugby player on the Wheel Blacks of New Zealand has been playing for 7 years.
The attraction to wheelchair rugby
“For me it was the team atmosphere…I never had experience a team environment until wheelchair rugby came into my life,” he says. “It’s a good way to make friends and challenge each other to be more independent and do more things for yourself.” Born without full arms and legs, Cameron loves playing in a team, but he has also had impressive achievements in swimming. “Winning a gold medal and a world record at the London Paralympics for swimming,” were some of his greatest accomplishments.
Wheelchair rugby has been a great experience for Cameron. “It’s the friendships that I’ve made…The guys and the team of people that I would never have met if I haven’t been playing wheelchair rugby,” he says. “The opportunity to travel and play with them, it’s been quite a special one…it’s just the journey that we’ve all been on together and shared experiences has been pretty cool.”
“My favourite part of being in a team is that camaraderie…just being a team together and enjoying each other’s time…When you have a win, the feeling of winning is multiplied…But also when you lose, it’s also shared among everyone."
With so much hard work, the team has managed to go on tour but it’s definitely hard to be away from home. “Sometimes you’re focused on your personal life and there are other times you’re focused on your sports one…I’m just lucky the people around me understand that,” he says.
For anyone considering playing wheelchair rugby, Cameron hopes you’ll give it a shot. “You don’t know what you don’t know so you may as well give it a try. Who cares if people might look at you funny…It’s about yourself and doing something to either prove to yourself or prove to others that you can do it,” he shares. Don’t be self-conscious about how you look or how people will see you, just focus on being you.
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