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A selection of photos from this season at Parc De Pugh.
Elin Morris interviews Brecon RFC past player Rob Davies after his inspirational trip to Rio...
Elin Morris a  rst year Journalism student has been to chat to Rob Davies to  nd out more about his remarkable journey to winning the Gold medal in the Rio Paralympics.
At the Rio Paralympics earlier this year, Brecon boy Rob Davies inspirationally won the table tennis gold medal defeating his Korean opponent.
Eleven years earlier, playing rugby for Brecon RFC against Ynysybwl, Rob broke his neck when a scrum engaged incorrectly, an injury that left him paralyzed below the waist. Despite this life changing injury, the accident did not turn him away from sport, as Rob explained, “sport has always been a big part of my life. Participating in table tennis was a way to distract me from my injury and provided a way to rehabilitate myself, it gave me something to work for.” Prior to his injury Rob had never played table tennis seriously “it was my grandma who encouraged me to take part in the sport, at  rst I was unsure because table tennis was a bit of a girly sport compared
to rugby but I changed my mind, gave it a go and, playing table tennis became an enjoyable time for me.” Rob was hooked, frequently ordering taxies from his hospital bed to the Welsh Institution of Sport in Cardiff so that he could train and play.
In 2012, Rob competed in the London Paralympics and although he didn’t win a medal, the experience was crucial in his journey to Rio gold as Rob explains, “the London experience was very different to Rio, there were larger crowds and more pressure. I had more experience by the time Rio came about and had worked on mental and physical training.”
Rob explained that he was not con dent heading into the games in Rio as he’d experienced signi cant back pain during his  ve-day-a-week training schedule and faced some disappoint- ment in competition in the previous two years. “The key to my success in Rio was managing my back pain in an effective way and having good support and a well structured routine. My preparations came together, I got it right leading into Rio and it all seemed to come together at the end when it mattered.”
Rob describes the moment when he won gold as ‘surreal’, “throughout the game I didn’t want to look at the scoreboard and I simply focused on tactics. It was only when I heard my coach shouting and saw him jumping over the barrier that I knew I’d won. At that moment I was ecstatic. I’d worked so hard over the past ten years, I’d put so much commitment into training and made many sacri ces.”
Rob describes his coach Neil Robinson, the most decorated British table tennis paralympian, as his inspiration. For his own part, Rob’s motivation comes from simply trying to be the best he can be and through his enjoyment of competition. “I want to be the best I can be at my sport, leave a legacy and to be an inspiration for younger generations.” Rob’s advice to anyone who may have suffered a similar injury who may feel they are unable to achieve great things is to “get up and go, keep moving, keep entertained and keep positive.”
Rob is now focused on the European Championships in September 2017 where he aims to defend his title for a third consecutive time. With Rob’s ‘can do’ attitude, commitment and focus anything is possible.

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