Matlock wheelchair rugby star selected for Rio Paralympics

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Matlock’s Ryan Cowling has been selection for Team GB’s wheelchair rugby side.

Cowling is part of a selected wheelchair rugby team which is unprecedented in strength and experience.

The team also includes 11 European Champions as well as Cowling who was part of the team that brought home the gold medal at the official Rio 2016 Test Event earlier this year.

Cowling said: “I’m extremely happy and proud of my achievement and I’m excited to be going to Rio.

“When I first started the sport I had no aspirations of representing my country, I did it for the fun of it and to get to this stage is just amazing, I can’t quite believe it to be fair.”

Penny Briscoe MBE, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said: “This wheelchair rugby team has a fantastic blend of experience and up-and-coming talent that it is a really exciting prospect for Rio.

“This group has trained together for most of this cycle, so coming up to four years, and you can really see that on court, in the way that they work so well together.

“This is a sport that really caught the public’s attention in London with its bruising on-court battles and fast pace. I am confident that the British public will embrace the sport and this team again in Rio.”

Lorraine Brown, Performance Director and Team Leader for Wheelchair Rugby, said: “I am delighted for these athletes, it’s a fantastic achievement.

“This announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort over many years and as a team sport,

“I have to pay tribute to those who have not made the final cut as they have all played their part in our journey towards Rio 2016.

“We still have a lot of hard work to do as we maximise our final preparation with the selected team, and I am excited to see them in action out in Rio and what they can do.”