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Sittingbourne's Steve Brown goes for gold as GB wheelchair rugby skipper

Sorry, this video asset has been removed.

Steve Brown will be
leading GB's wheelchair rugby team

Words by Alex Hoad

Video by Scott Mitchell

Wheelchair rugby skipper Steve Brown says the home fans will
have a huge part to play in GB's quest for a medal that begins
against the USA tomorrow.

Brown's side face a daunting task in their opening game against
the Worl. No1 and Beijing gold medallists at the Basketball Arena
at 7pm on Wednesday.

After that, they complete their group campaign against France on
Thursday (7pm) and Japan on Friday (3pm) - looking to secure a spot
in the semi-finals, where they could face Beijing silver medallists

Although they are ranked fifth in the world, GB have finished
fourth at the past two Games and Brown, 31, from Sittingbourne, is
keen to put an end to that run.

Wheelchair rugby player Steve Brown from Sittingbourne
Wheelchair rugby player Steve Brown from Sittingbourne

Brown, pictured left, said: "GB have
consistently been fourth in competitions, which is the worst place
you can be. We want to put an end to that.

"The USA are world champions and always number one in the world.
We have them first, but if we want to win our pool then we've got
to win all our games.

"There is very little between the teams and on any day you never
know who is going to come out on top."

The Isle of Sheppey-born star – who also skippers Kent Crusaders
based in Gillingham - added: "I want to play for my teammates and
my coaches first and foremost but to have the support of the home
crowd would mean a lot to all of us, and it would definitely help
us trying to win that medal."

It will be a first Games for Brown, who was paralysed in a fall
from a hotel balcony seven years ago, and he said: "It's exciting.
It's all I can think about. I'll be driving down the road and start
thinking about the Games, tactics, opponents.

"I was lying in bed and I thought of a move that might help us
to score and all I could think of was writing it out to tell the

One of the most eagerly anticipated sports of the Games,
wheelchair rugby was originally dubbed 'murderball' due to its
physicality, but Brown said: "I say it's more like chess with

"It is very tactical and it doesn't take long before you get
into it. There is something for every sports fan in it – I'm told
you get caught up in it and can forget you are watching a
wheelchair sport."

The KM Group is supporting Steve by asking readers to display a poster of him in their front windows. The poster is available inside the Sittingbourne News Extra and Sheerness Times Guardian from Wednesday.

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