Robin Tarr PLY has represented Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby in every major event, including 3 Paralympic Games, 3 World games and 3 European Championships culminating in the captaincy in Athens 2004.
In 1981 Robin Tarr was involved in a devastating road traffic accident, he was thrown through a car window screen breaking his neck on impact and severing his spinal cord. Rob was rushed to a spinal unit in Sheffield and told the agonising news that “He would never walk again”.
During the next 9 months stay in hospital he faced many medical complications. He then started the long road to recovery, coming to terms with paralysis and learning to adapt to a life confined to a wheelchair.
1989 a new game was developed in Canada for cervical injuries called Murderball (later to be changed to Wheelchair Rugby). A copy of the basic rules where sent over to England and a team came over from Canada to Stoke Mandeville to put on an exhibition game. This was to be a turning point in Rob’s life; the hard-hitting team sport was just what he had been looking for, a game consisting of rugby, basketball and ice hockey rules.
In 1991 a Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Team was established and he was selected to go and represent his country in Toronto Canada. Since then Rob has represented Great Britain in every major event, including 3 Paralympic Games, 3 World games and 3 European Championships culminating in the captaincy in Athens 2004.
He says “I have had an amazing journey in life that has run the whole gauntlet of emotion, from the highest of highs to the depths of despair.
I have competed all over the world as an elite athlete, attended receptions with the Prime minister Tony Blare and sipped a whiskey Mac in Buckingham Palace whilst chatting to the Queen. I feel that I have conquered my disability and the obstacles that it has presented me!
Rob retired from international sport in March 2005 to pursue new careers in Inspirational speaking, Mentoring, disability access consultancy and coaching.
After 36 years in the sport he finally reached his coaching long term goal in assisting the Great Britain Team achieve a Gold Medal performance in the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020 and recently led the GB Low Point Squad to their first Gold at the World Games, Birmingham, Alabama 2022 and the GB Women’s Team to their first Gold at the Women’s Cup Paris 2023.
“I have had an amazing experience with the squad but felt it was now time to retire from the role as the assistant coach and take on new challenges by sharing my knowledge and experience with my coaching peers in Europe”.
Rob now holds positions with GBWR and WWR as a Coach Educator and is the acting Chairman with the Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Club.