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    Matt Skelhon

    Ones to watch
    Great Britain Great Britain Shooting Para sport 31 October 1984

    Peterborough, GBR

    A shooting para athlete holding a rifle.


    Human Interest
    Data Value
    Impairment Information
    Type of Impairment Spinal Cord Injuries
    Origin of Impairment Acquired
    Classification SH1, SG-S
    Further Personal Information
    Family Partner Issy
    Residence Evesham, ENG
    Occupation Athlete
    Languages English
    Sport Specific Information
    When and where did you begin this sport? He first tried shooting at age 11. He began competing in shooting Para sport at the 2006 Inter Spinal Unit Games in Stoke Mandeville, England.
    Why this sport? He originally practised the sport as a hobby with his father.
    Name of coach Mike Babb [national], GBR
    General Interest
    Nicknames Buzal [slang for 'mate' in his hometown of Peterborough, England]. (channel4.com, 14 Oct 2010)
    Hobbies Fishing, building models and Lego, playing the Farming Simulator video game. (Instagram profile, 08 Jun 2022; Anything but Footy podcast, 14 Jan 2021; Channel 4 Sport YouTube channel, 13 Jan 2021)
    Awards and honours He was named the 2014 Sportsman of the Year by the Peterborough Telegraph newspaper in England. (peterboroughtoday.co.uk, 30 Jan 2015)
    Famous relatives His partner Issy Bailey represented Great Britain in shooting Para sport at the 2016 and 2020 Paralympic Games. (Issy Bailey Instagram profile, 19 Apr 2022; SportsDeskOnline, 25 Jun 2022)
    Ambitions To compete at the 2022 World Championships in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. (British Shooting Facebook page, 05 Sep 2021)
    Impairment He has paraplegia as a result of a car accident in 2005. (paralympic-games.2012.co.uk, 13 Jun 2011; paralympic.org, 19 Jul 2017)
    After winning medals at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing [gold] and the 2012 Games in London [one silver, one bronze], he did not manage to make the podium at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro or the 2020 Games in Tokyo. "[After Rio] I felt worse than after my accident in 2005 which put me in my wheelchair. I was depressed and had no motivation to shoot again. I was on the verge of quitting, and even after starting to train again I left many camps angry and ready to throw in the towel. [In Tokyo] I went out and tried as hard as I could but I think that just put even more pressure on myself. I think 90% of it is mental – if the equipment is on point then the rest is mental – knowing you're at a level to compete with others but we really haven't had that with no exposure to competition for two years [due to COVID-19]. I am sure now we can get a proper competition schedule in place I will be able to get amongst it again and build my confidence back up before the world championships next year [in 2022]." (British Shooting Facebook page, 05 Sep 2021; paralympic.org, 19 Jul 2017)

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