Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby chairman Rob Tarr says a positive mindset now can pay dividends in future.
Along with the rest of the sporting world, wheelchair rugby has been suspended during the Coronavirus pandemic. But Tarr says work continues behind the scenes, both in his role with Tigers and as a coach with Team GB.
“We’ve had some nice momentum with the Tigers team,” he says. “Now I just want everybody in the mindset that they need to keep going and then, when we do get the green light, everybody is ready to go again.
“Keep the positivity going now and, when everybody starts back, the enthusiasm is going to be massive.”
With the backing of club partners Häfele alongside support from the Matt Hampson Foundation and the Leicester Tigers Foundation, the Tigers team have been building momentum over the last couple of seasons. Now, even with no fixtures to fulfil, Tarr says it is vital that the players are able to share time together online and to continue to talk to their coaches.
“The social side is a big thing,” he says. “The players can continue to train on their own, but we all play a team sport.
“With Leicester, we got together at the leisure centre at De Montfort University on Fridays and it was part of everyone’s social life as well. You get together, you have a chat, you look after each other. That’s the thing we miss out on at the moment.
“But everyone is on WhatsApp groups, they’re having a bit of banter, a bit of a chat and keeping spirits up. It’s important, they’re still feeding from each other that way.”
As part of Team GB, the coaches are working with small groups of players, analysing and assessing match footage now there is some time available off the pitch.
“It’s bizarre. We have had three years of build-up to the Paralympics and that’s just not going to happen this year,” says Tarr of the decision to postpone the Games until 2021.
“We were completely on track for it. Luckily, we had the tournament in February and we have all that footage. We’ve got the lads going through the video, keeping them engaged.
“Everybody is in the same boat, but what we can do in this time is where you can perhaps get the advantage – we’re looking at it that way.
“We learned a lot at the Quad Nations and have gone through it. As coaches, we’re taking time to do some learning ourselves, you’re always improving.”