Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Club chairman Rob Tarr shared his experiences of nearly 30 years of international sport as a special guest at a conference held by the club’s main partners Häfele.
Tarr was invited by Häfele managing director Craig Chambers to attend a celebration of the partnership during their sales conference this week.
Häfele are specialists in innovative furniture fittings, accessories, ironmongery and hardware from their base in Rugby.
Tarr, who participated in three Paralympics as a player and is now a GB coach as well as leading the Tigers wheelchair club, spoke about his experiences in the game from its ‘murderball’ origins to current global status after getting into the sport following his injury in a car accident in the early 1980s.
“I was a tighthead prop at my local rugby club and I’d always loved being a team player,” said Tarr. “None of the disability sports around at the time appealed to me because they were individual sports, but this came along and I was into wheelchair rugby very early on. The game has all the controlled aggression and fun and the teamwork of rugby, and I’ve been involved ever since.
“It’s been a great journey for me, from a knockabout get-together in a leisure centre at the start to a sport recognised at world level now.”
Tarr acknolwedges the work of the Leicester Tigers Foundation, including a programme to take wheelchair rugby into schools.
“The kids have loved it,” he said. “We take the chairs in and they try them out. It gives them a different outlook on disability and they see wheelchairs in a whole new way.
“It’s not a cheap sport to play, the chairs are engineered specially for the players and cost around £6,000 each so we do rely on support.
Chambers said the content of the presentation resonates with the business world in terms of teamwork, positive mindset and support for each other, and said he looked forward to Häfele playing an important part in the development of the Tigers team.