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38942-Owen Rhys Williams photo

Owen Rhys Williams

Athletics

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T51, F51

Further personal information

Languages
English

General interest

Other sports
He represented Wales in rugby union, playing four test matches in 2013. (espn.co.uk, 15 Dec 2014)
Impairment
He injured his spinal cord while competing at the World Club 10s in Singapore. He spent 10 months recovering at Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff, Wales. He is paralysed from the chest down. (walesonline.co.uk, 23 Apr 2015; bbc.co.uk, 25 Jun 2014; walesonline.co.uk, 14 Mar 2017)
Other information
RUGBY CAREER
He represented Wales in rugby union at U16, U20 and senior level before his accident. "It is hard to look back on a different life. I don't try and get myself down about that. I was very happy with the success I had in rugby. I was lucky enough to represent my country, which was a great honour, so I don't look back with negativity. I do have down days thinking what I could have achieved, but also look at the positives of what I did achieve. Getting my cap for Wales has definitely helped me along. If this had happened to me and I hadn't quite achieved that then it would have been a lot harder to take but looking at my jersey on the wall in my house does put a smile on my face. I still follow rugby, I still follow the [Cardiff] Blues and watch every Wales game. I've still got a passion for it and the rugby community has done so much for me." (bbc.co.uk, 25 Jun 2014; walesonline.co.uk, 02 Mar 2016; walesonline.co.uk, 23 Apr 2015; walesonline.co.uk, 14 Mar 2017)

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
The Stay Strong For Ows Foundation was established to help raise funds for his rehabilitation. "In the early stages, I remember my brother telling me about all the messages coming in. It was crazy; it lifts the spirits and keeps you positive. My close friends and family, the ongoing support on Twitter, the fundraising events really get your spirits up and push you on to try and keep positive and keep going. It's very humbling and I'm lucky to have the support I've had after the injury. It sometimes gets emotional to see the lengths people go to for a bit of fundraising for me." (walesonline.co.uk, 02 Mar 2016; walesonline.co.uk, 14 Mar 2017)