UBC Okanagan graduate competing in 2020 Tokyo Paralympics | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UBC Okanagan graduate competing in 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

Rob Shaw will perform in the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
Image Credit: UBC Okanagan
August 15, 2021 - 4:32 PM

A UBC Okanagan graduate will be putting his tennis skills to the test by competing in the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

Two months ago, Rob Shaw added a new title to his name by completing his Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies at UBC Okanagan. In just a few weeks, the wheelchair tennis champion will add also Paralympic athlete to his title.

Shaw came to UBC Okanagan in 2016 as a doctoral student in Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis’ spinal cord injury research group. Their work focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of the 85,000 Canadians living with spinal cord injury. Shaw’s work involves investigating the impact of peer mentorship on people with spinal cord injury in hospital and community settings, according to a press release issued by UBCO.

Now that his academic life is momentarily on pause, he is focusing on training and competing for Canada in the singles wheelchair tennis event which starts Aug. 27, according to the press release.

READ MORE: Kelowna Olympian returns home from Tokyo, says biggest challenge for an athlete is mental

COVID-19 has made made training more challenging than usual, he said in the press release, but he's been able to train both in Kelowna and Vancouver.

"However, because we weren’t able to train or compete with others, we haven’t been able to gauge our progression and so it’s hard to determine what level we’re at. We are doing our best with what little information we have," Shaw said.

Shaw is currently ranked eighth in the world for wheelchair tennis and he's a four-time national quad singles champion.

"Representing Canada in the Paralympics is an honour and a dream come true. It’s been almost two years since I’ve had a competitive tennis match and so I’m really looking forward to putting my training into match-play. I’m also looking forward to catching up with some of my friends in Tokyo," he said.

The Paralympics will be held Aug. 24 to Sept. 5. 


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