Ayaz Bhuta

Ayaz Bhuta

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Wheelchair Rugby won their first ever Paralympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020 in a historic 54-49 victory over USA. Bolton’s Ayaz Bhuta, is part of the new crop of young talented players to enter the national squad since London 2012. Born with Roberts Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of bones in the arms and legs, Ayaz stands at 3’ 7” but what he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in character and talent. Originally a wheelchair basketball player, Ayaz started playing club rugby in 2009, and found the more physical elements of the game suited him better.

He was selected to play in a tri-nations tournament in Australia in 2010; Ayaz returned from Australia disappointed after being warned that his size meant he would be unlikely to succeed at international level. However, Ayaz is nothing if not persistent. He stuck with the game and was selected for the GBWR Development Squad in 2011.

At his first Development Squad tournament (Rugby Mania 2012) Ayaz was voted ‘Best in Class’ and from then on he went from strength to strength.

Since his debut Ayaz, who has received a Hogan Lovell’s athlete bursary, has developed immensely as a player and was consistently part of the Rio 2016 Paralympic starting line.

He was a key player in the team’s success at the European Championships in 2017 and is constantly working hard on and off court. Recently having involvement in a charity for young migrants and refugees, Ayaz is looking to continue that work through being a mentor.

Playing history

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games: Gold

**2016 Rio Paralympic Games **– 5th

2017 European Championships, Germany – 1st

2015 European Championships, Finland – 1st

2013 European Championships – 3rd

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