Robin Tarr

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 where he was found to be paralysed from the chest down 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 to date 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 highs to the depths of despair. There has also been the humour, fun and enthusiasm for life, living every moment that my disability has given me.

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 a new career in Inspirational speaking and disability access consultancy.

For the past 2 years, he has worked with both Sporting Champions and the Youth Sport Trust as an ambassador and Athlete Mentor for disability sport. He has received training in child protection, psychology and presentation.

This role gives Rob the opportunity to go into schools & universities and give presentations on all aspects of his life experiences. Rob has also become a prominent motivational speaker with major speaking agencies.

Main subjects are:

Rob is able to tailor his talks to the needs of the clients, he will be both Motivational and inspirational when speaking about his life and achievements.

Dealing with adversity
His talks are about how he overcame and dealt with such a devastating injury at such a young age. He takes his audience down a road to recovery and tells how he turned his life around to become an elite athlete.

Pushing the limits
The future seamed very bleak at the time of his injury. He lost his independence for a year and had to fight every inch of the way to get it back. This is where he felt that he found the determination and self-discipline to always push himself that extra yard with strength of spirit, hard work and a sense of humour he broke all barriers

Sport & Rob
After the highly acclaimed documentary Murderball hit the big screen this year, wheelchair rugby has become a much talked about and very high profile sport. Rob explains the benefits of sport participation to him personally and also the benefits of sports participation for a spinal cord injury