Rob TarrI caught up with Rob Tarr at an exciting time when a new sponsor, Trilogy IT, has just come on-board for the forthcoming TREAT Trust Cup 2014. I asked him how the sport had changed since those early days of Murderball, back in the early 90s. A life changing time for Rob when he was selected for the first Great Britain team to cross the pond to Canada and compete in a remarkable international Tournament 

You’ve often said you’ve had an amazing journey – where do you draw your strength and inspiration? 

I’ve had an incredible time, travelling all over the world, visiting places and working alongside remarkable people. It all began when I was first introduced to a sport that combined rugby, basketball and ice hockey rules: Murderball. 

At the time I drew my strength and inspiration from fellow team members and the opposition. It’s only natural to connect and relate to people who are in a similar situation. The support I received from everyone associated with the game also kept me going. In effect, we all bounced off each other, drawing strength and determination when it was needed most. 

I enjoyed many years of representing my country, playing at a National, International and Paralympic level, before finally giving up my role as Captain and retiring in 2005

Sport gave me the focus and ability to overcome many obstacles and situations encountered with a disability, I now know that anything is possible!

It’s been a very exciting adventure for someone who came from a coal mining background. 

Since retiring, how’s life as a coach been treating you? 

I am having a great time; the journey continues with some brilliant and truly unforgettable moments. My main role is the head coach with the Leicester Tigers wheelchair rugby team and I have recently had the privilege of coaching wheelchair rugby at the 2014 Invictus games, working with the war heroes has been an extremely rewarding and humbling experience. 

Coaching the Italian team being the biggest challenge, finding myself in a situation where only one of the guys spoke English and no understanding of the rules created several comical & endearing moments.. Every coaching opportunity brings me something different to consider. 

You must be very pleased having new sponsors on board for the TREAT Trust Cup – what does this mean for the team? 

It’s brilliant! Having the right partnership in place is crucial and Trilogy’s sponsorship is perfect timing for us. The tournaments take place on the 27th and 28th September, in celebration of the South Wales Pirates’ 25th anniversary. Spectators are in for a real treat watching teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland do battle for the TREAT Trust Cup 2014. Every match promises to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller. 

Making the right connection through the RBN has been of tremendous value, paving the way for a very exciting couple of days that everyone is looking forward to. I hope it’s the beginnings of a great partnership, so it’s very much a question of ‘watch this space’ for future developments.

Rob Tarr

 So how’s the future looking for you? 

It’s looking good with lots in the pipeline on the coaching front, my club team has just gained promotion to division 1, we are drafting in an international player and I will be working with the young GB development squad at the forthcoming Competition

It’s a great environment to be working in, partly because it’s so competitive and partly because the sport is just going from strength to strength 

It’s an exciting time to be involved in wheelchair rugby. I was lucky to be there at the beginning and see the birth of an amazing sport, the media has embraced it and the future is looking very good indeed. 

Team members: 

  • Alex Smart
  • Ryan Cowling
  • Josh Williams
  • Nick Cummings
  • Jonny Collingwood
  • Danny Dawoud
  • Jamie Stead
  • Ross Morrison

For more information and a full schedule for the TREAT Trust Cup 2014, please go to:

http://gbwr.org.uk/event/treat-trust-cup-2014/

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