Legends of The Game: The Wild One

Born with spina bifida and a feisty attitude, the ‘Wild One’ began her Wheelchair Basketball adventure aged 10, when her parents took her to a Disability Sports Club. Wild competed with Great Britain’s Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team at the 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games. In addition to this, Wild competed at five European Championships and four World Championships. Captaining the team for over a decade, Wild’s wheelchair basketball career came to an end in April 2009 due to injury; she underwent brain and spinal surgery in 2011 which meant she could no longer play contact sport.

On the court, Wild took the international stage by storm with her eagerness to compete, tenacious attitude and feisty playing style. Domestically, Wild was the first female to play in a British Wheelchair Basketball Premier League team, which was the GLL & Aspire London Titans. Wild was also the first female wheelchair basketball player to become a coach of a National Premier League team.

It’s safe to say when it comes to awards, Ann is absolutely balling. Wildy was presented with a lifetime achievement award from Wheelpower in 2009. In 2004 and 2009, Brunel University awarded her with the Outstanding Achievement Award, in addition to an honorary masters for her services to sport in 2004. Throwback to the 1993 European Championships, Ann was names the Most Valuable Player.

In June 2010 on the Queen’s birthday honours list, Wild was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to wheelchair basketball. An incredible honour to be awarded an OBE and I could not think of a more deserving person. For the short time I have known Ann, she has inspired me to strive for my goals, be a better player, and think deeper about my coaching. She is truly one of the best people I have the honour of knowing.

Did you know that Ann Wild featured on the special Paralympic addition of ‘Come Dine with me’ in 2012?

This is for you, Ann…

“Ann Wild OBE, 5 time Paralympian, World Champion, All-Star coach. However, Ann is a lot more than the stats show. She is a selfless, kind and inspirational person. When I first arrived at Titans I was so scared, I didn’t know anyone, I just wanted to turn around and go home but she came over, put her arm around me and made me feel like I was part of her family.

Ann was the first person to really believe in me and made me feel so much better about myself. She gave me the confidence to do anything and she was always there for me when times got tough. I can’t begin to thank her enough for every second she has dedicated to help me become the person I am; every joke she cracked and every selfless act she has done to help me.

Ann is not just my coach, she is family, and will forever have a special place in my heart. If I develop into half the person Ann is, I know that I have done something good. I believe that if the world had more people like Ann, then the world would be such a better place!” – Rob Whale

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