How I Started
Ayaz was born with Robert's Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects both upper and lower body limbs. Ayaz is 3ft 7 inches tall and weighs 45kg. Despite having spent most of his childhood and early teenage years in and out of hospital undergoing corrective procedures, Ayaz has always been a sports enthusiast and was always keen on taking part in sports. Being the only disabled student at his primary school was a challenge, as due to fears of health and safety, Ayaz’s sporting activity was limited, until one day when he showed real capability in participating in a playground football game which helped break down some barriers.
During his college years, Ayaz struggled to cope with his disability. During this period he was very inactive, became overweight and had little confidence. To help him overcome these issues, Ayaz started playing Wheelchair Basketball where his self-confidence improved over time. Wheelchair Basketball is a non-contact sport, something Ayaz never really grasped as he became accustomed to getting sent off pretty much every game!
Shortly after getting involved with Wheelchair Basketball Ayaz was scouted by Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby. To qualify to play Wheelchair Rugby the participant has to have an impairment in 3 or 4 limbs. It is also the only full-contact Paralympic sport; something which caught Ayaz's attention. After several months of training, Ayaz was called up to represent GB in a Four Nations tournament in Australia. It was after this tournament that Ayaz was told that he probably wouldn't have a career internationally.
My Greatest Achievement
Ayaz describes his greatest achievement as representing Team GB in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. He found this experience wild and a wonderful opportunity. It was a fantastic feeling representing his own country and he is lucky enough with all of his hard work to represent Great Britain again this year in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics!
My Greatest Challenge
Struggled with coping with my disability and how people treated me because of it. I didn't have many friends and any confidence within myself. I found a sport that helped me regain confidence and feel comfortable within myself. I now want to help others realise their potential
Ayaz loves watching lots of sports! Especially watching his favourite teams, Manchester United and the English Cricket team. He also enjoys playing Football Manager and cooking! Ayaz’s favourite meal is usually chicken and vegetables as it is a well rounded and healthy meal, but he also loves to have a pizza as a treat after a tournament or match!
My Future Goals
Ayaz’s future goals are to inspire as many people as I can through my actions and story to help people realise their potential. Career goals are to win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics this summer