Paralympian Rugby Player Aaron Phipps

Aaron Phipps Paralympian Rugby player will be visiting Enham on Saturday the 21st of September from 10am till noon. Aaron was an able bodied person for most of his youth and took a keen interest in extreme sports such as rollerblading, skateboarding and BMX riding, as well as playing Basketball for Testwood Secondary School, Totton. On January 7th 1999 Aaron contracted Meningitis C and Meningococcal septicaemia (blood poisoning).  Aaron’s life had turned upside down and after being in a controlled coma for two weeks, both his legs and most of his fingers had to be amputated in March of the same year. In total Aaron was in hospital for a year recovering and rehabilitating as he adapted to the life changing situation thrown at him. In 2007 Aaron started to participate in Wheelchair races and raised money for a meningitis charity by completing the Totton 10km race. Aaron was using his everyday wheelchair in this race so contacted the British Wheelchair Association who gave him a second hand Racing Chair. He also wanted to improve his fitness so he contacted Southampton Solent University who supported him and developed a training program. In his new chair Aaron started to compete on a regular basis, including two London Marathons, the second of which in 2009, he finished the fourth highest U.K. male in a time of 1hr 59mins. In the same year Aaron attended the Wheelchair Racing Track Championships and was persuaded to take up Wheelchair Rugby by two participants. Soon after, Aaron attended sessions with the Great Britain squad and due to his high levels of fitness obtained through Wheelchair Racing he was soon drafted into the 2009 European Championship Squad in Denmark, where they finished fourth. Since then Aaron has become an established member of the Great Britain side participating in a number of major tournaments such as the Australian Super Series and the Canada Cup. However Aaron’s biggest success to date is winning silver at the 2011 GB Cup and 2011 European Championships in Switzerland. Aaron enhanced his skills within the game by attending the Florida project in March 2011. Aaron’s training regime varies but most weeks see a minim of 6 – 8 sessions. Aaron takes regular trips to Stoke Mandeville to train with the Great Britain team, where he is classified as a 3.5 player- the highest in the squad.??Aaron cannot live off his sport and fits all his training sessions and matches around his job as the London 2012 assistant coordinator for Hampshire County Council. As well as his commitment to Wheelchair Rugby Aaron has a family too. His wife Vicky, who he married in 2010, gave birth to their first child, daughter Ella in July 2011. The Phipps family remain in Aaron’s hometown of Totton, Southampton. For more information please contact Liz Cosgrove on 01264 345848