Disability: Sacral Agenesis
I have always been involved in sport from a young age, starting in wheelchair athletics, and then wheelchair basketball for nearly 15 years. I loved playing basketball, but I wanted a fresh challenge, and so a simple post on Facebook asking for recommendations, brought a reply from a friend telling me to try Para Ice Hockey. What was Para Ice hockey? A quick watch on Youtube showed me everything, it was fast, skilful, scary and I wanted to give it a go!
In 2011, I got in touch with someone from the governing body to find my nearest club and my timing couldn’t have been better, because a club was just starting in Peterborough. When I turned up, they had no players, no committee and I left that evening having my first experience on the ice, but also being made chairperson – I was left feeling a bit dazed by the whole experience, but I knew in some way it had committed me to getting to grips with this sport and developing the club.
From 2011, I was put in the GB development team to fast track me to the senior squad. I was honoured to be called up for the GB seniors in the same year as part of the World Championship squad travelling to Sweden, which allowed me to gain lots of experience. From here on, I have only missed one international competition, and I’m proud to have been part of the squad who achieved a bronze medal in Japan 2013 for the World Championship B-Pool Games.
My future aspirations are to keep improving, to help the next generation of players coming through by working to develop Peterborough Phantoms to have a strong future for many years ahead, and helping those who want to play competitively or to just have fun in a supportive environment.
Matt was selected, with 5 other members of the Peterborough Phantoms, as part of the GB Team who travelled to Japan in November 2016 for the IPC World Championships.