Hose realises London dream Tuesday, 08 May 2012 00:00
CAMPERDOWN athlete Josh Hose was last week named in the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team after the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) officially announced the wheelchair rugby team that will head to London.
Hose was named alongside 10 of his teammates at the Opening Ceremony of the International Wheelchair Rugby Test Series between Australia and Japan at Sydney Olympic Park over the weekend.
It will be the first Paralympic Games for the 25-year-old, whose life turned upside down after a serious car accident left him with significant spinal injuries on Australia Day in 2005. Now seven years on, Hose can’t quite believe the course his life has taken.
“Watching guys play at the Beijing (2008) games got me inspired to get involved in it,” Hose said.
“I was at rehab and saw the Victorian wheelchair rugby squad. I liked the technicality and pace of the game.”
Hose made his debut in Australian colours in 2009 and has since represented Australia at every major tournament including the 2010 World Championships and most recently the Paralympic Test Event in London where Australia won gold. He is confident they can repeat their performance in less than four months time at the Paralympics.
“The way the team is playing at the moment, everything we are putting into practice is paying off.
“We are beating teams more than we have ever before so it is definitely possible to win gold.”
Currently ranked second in the world behind the USA, Australia has won two silver medals in wheelchair rugby at the Paralympic Games since it was introduced as a Paralympic sport at Sydney 2000.
Having lost the gold medal game to the USA in Beijing and again at the 2010 World Championships, Australian Paralympic Committee CEO and 2012 Team Chef de Mission Jason Hellwig hopes the team can bring home gold in London.
“I would like to congratulate Josh on making his first Australian Paralympic Team. Representing your country at the highest level on the world stage is a wonderful achievement,” Hellwig said.
“Wheelchair rugby is one of the most exciting and explosive sports on the Paralympic program. Competition is fierce and having won silver in Beijing, our team is hungry for gold.”
Australian Wheelchair Rugby Head Coach Brad Dubberley believes Hose is capable of something special in London.
“When Josh played at the World Champs in 2010 he was still developing as a player and in the last two years he has really come into his own,” Dubberley said.
“Josh is one of the smartest guys on the team and a truly dedicated athlete.”
Wheelchair rugby is a team sport for people with a disability that affects all four limbs and is most commonly played by athletes with quadriplegia. Players are assigned a point value from 0.5 to 3.5 according to their level of functional ability. The four players on the court cannot exceed a combined total of eight points at any time.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games will run from August 29 through to September 9.
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