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Wheelchair rugby stars on target for Paralympic dreams

Plymouth University team on their way to achieving Paralympic goals thanks to new wheelchair funded by backers

Posted by Hannah Oakman | April 20, 2016 | Sports & leisure

Faye West, who is captain of the Westcountry Hawks wheelchair rugby team, is one of the members who will benefit from the £3,000 chair for training and competition.

As well as reading for a degree in Media Arts, Faye is one of three Hawks in the Team GB Development Squad, aiming to be selected for the 2020 Paralympic team in Tokyo.

And the new chair will increase their speed and enable them to compete at a high enough standard to be noticed – thus boosting chances of selection for their country.

The new chair was funded through University partner Crowdfunder, facilitated by University fundraising intern Morwenna Dobson, and the Hawks reached their £3,000 target in a matter of days.

The Hawks, also a University partner, have now set a stretch target of £6,000 to be hit by 20 April, with extra money being used to buy new equipment, kit, and, if enough is raised, another new wheelchair.

Faye said: "As captain, it's clear to see new equipment is vital if we're to move forward as a team. New chairs would mean a faster playing speed, and it would be great to get some updated kit. Without the money, it is unlikely the team will be able to compete at a high enough standard to allow players like me to reach the Paralympics, so we’re really grateful to everyone who has donated.”

Chris Perkins, founder and coach of Westcountry Hawks, said: “We have some wonderful talent in this team, and it’s fantastic that we can help them to be recognised on a bigger stage. With new regulations opening the sport up to 17,000 people in the Plymouth region alone, the club provides vital support and opportunities for local talent to reach their potential, so we need, and are grateful for, any help to provide the training equipment to meet this demand.”

For more information, visit the Westcountry Hawks Crowdfunder page.

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