In 1997, Andy Barrow was playing rugby for his local club when he suffered a spinal-cord injury that left him paralysed from the chest down, with limited use of his hands. He was aged just 17.
Following this life-changing injury and many hard months of rehabilitation, his life was transformed again when he discovered wheelchair rugby – also known as “Murderball”.
Andy’s wheelchair rugby career encompassed three Paralympic Games, three World Championships, and five European Championships, where he was part of a record-breaking team that won three gold medals in a row.
He captained Great Britain from 2005 to 2010, and led the team out at the Beijing Paralympics – one of his proudest moments.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was the greatest sporting event in Great Britain’s history, and the perfect opportunity for Andy to end his career on a high. He took the decision to make this his final tournament, following well over 100 appearances for his country.
Since retiring, Andy has gained experience as a speaker and mentor, and as a member of the Professional Speaking Association and Global Speakers Federation, he has spoken for audiences across the world.
Andy now runs his own company providing bespoke workshops, training and seminars on themes of performance and diversity. He also uses his skills as a professional speaker to teach current UK Sport funded athletes how to create maximum impact during their public appearances.
In 2018, Andy Barrow turned his attention to access. His experience as a world traveller sees him working as a consultant with multiple aviation and rail organisations to improve the assisted travel process for customers with impairments.
On the voluntary side Andy is a trustee on the board of directors for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and volunteering/care navigation charity, IMAGO, as well as being a Laureus “Sport for Good” ambassador.
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