10/05/2021

May Club of the Month!

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Through his work in Leeds and beyond, Paul Moseley is committed to leaving the wheelchair racing world in a better place than he found it.

Paul set up Leeds City AC Wheelchair Racing in 2003 after a local parent approached the club for support with training his son.

The result has been a club that makes dreams come true - whether they are to win five Paralympics golds, like Hannah Cockroft, or in Paul's words: "just to go fast."

"When you ask the athletes why they want to do wheelchair racing, almost all of them said it's because they want to go fast," said Paul.

"What I look forward to is the camaraderie and the team spirit we have. It's a lot of fun, and there's a whole spirit of wheelchair racing that helps them to develop as people.

"We want to help them go fast but it's the team ethic that means we've fostered a small family within the group."

The strength of the club's commitment to inclusion is one of the reasons Leeds City AC Wheelchair Racing have been named Parasport's Club of the Month for May.

Paul has put a lifetime's worth of effort into building a welcoming environment for first-time participants and new members of the club's training group.

But his role at England Athletics as Education and Workforce Manager allows him to share his passion for participation across the country.

"I want to make sure all wheelchair racers have the chance to grow and develop," said Paul, who has led on developing workshops and resources for wheelchair racing coaches.

"Part of that is making sure coaches have what they need to facilitate that. When I started out, it was very difficult to get the right bits of information and the right bits of knowledge and guidance.

"It took me a little while to develop that. I've been keen to offer that to any coach that wants to learn and working with other coaches has helped me grow as a coach too.

"The offer is out there to be a sounding board for advice and to work collectively together."

Five athletes currently train with the club on a part-time basis at their base at the city's John Charles Centre for Sport.

Access has been limited during lockdown but the club adapted to online sessions, even securing extra funding to ensure all members had access to training rollers to engage in the sport at home.

Regular online sessions helped the squad stay connected and Paul oversaw personalised training programmes for each athlete shaped around their specific needs.

The ambition is to continue to attract athletes to their group as restrictions ease.

"When you sit back and reflect on how far we've come and the athletes who've come through our system, I'm extremely proud," said Paul.

"I never thought we'd still be going in 2021 - it was purely something we want to do because there was a need and a demand.

"To be able to work with the number of athletes I have personally has been a tremendous honour and I feel very fortunate to have had those opportunities.

"The proudest moments that I've had has been seeing the athletes do their very best and to their different levels.

"That's not just Paralympic medals, that's just for someone being able to go fast for the first time - whatever fast was for them."

If you’re in the Leeds area and would like to give wheelchair racing a try – get in touch with Paul and the team here.