GB Team Interview - Gavin Walker
BT GB Interview – Gavin Walker
Our third article on the BT GB team, features an interview with vice-captain of the squad, Gavin Walker. Initially selected for the GB development squad in 2011, Gavin has now become a linchpin in the squad.
Date of Birth: 13/10/83
Home town: Rotherham
Disability: Spinal injury
So Gavin, how did you get into Wheelchair Rugby?
I got into Wheelchair Rugby through Sarah Leighton who was my physio therapist at the time. When I started, there were very few clubs so I used to travel to Nottingham from Sheffield to play. My previous job was a fire-fighter and I missed being part of a team. The game gave me that back and also helped with my fitness. In the beginning, I just loved playing games and never thought I would end up representing my country!
I see you’ve just been appointed Vice Captain, how does that affect your role?
My role is more of a being a middleman between the team and the coaches. I discuss with the coaches on how we deliver each session and communicating this to the wider team. Also, if any player has issues or concerns, I am there for them. On the court we are all trained to a level where we can change things and be dynamic.
What are the GB BT team like to work with?
I am privileged to be part of an extremely talented team. I like working with the more dominant player, like Jim and Ayaz. They take a lot of pressure off us. Chris is technically minded and I am always learning from him. The low pointers are really effective and the experienced players give us a really rounded squad.
Do the hits hurt?
The majority of players don’t feel much pain below their chests because they are paralysed but the big hits make you feel like your organs are moving about inside. People do get injuries like sore shoulder and broken fingers, but that’s part of the game!
I can’t remember the hardest hit I have received but it’s always the ones you least expect.
How has preparation been for the BT WWRC15?
Well, we’ve just come back off the back of two tournament wins so you could say that it’s going well. We managed to win the Metro cup and we have just come back from Switzerland where we also won.
We’ve got a great chance to win the BT WWRC15. We have a team of talented players. The way we are being coached is heading us in the right direction. Once we have the Europeans out of the way, we will be focusing purely on that.
If I had to say who we would like to beat in the final, I would want to beat anyone in the top 4. If I had to say one, I would choose Australia. We are all out there to win, it’s anyone’s game and we are looking forward to it!