At the age of 17, Andy Barrow suffered a life-changing spinal-cord injury while playing in a local rugby match. The incident left him quadriplegic, with limited use of his hands.
Fast-forward only one year to 1998 and Andy discovered the sport of wheelchair rugby, or ‘Murderball’, and started training at the London Wheelchair Rugby Club. In 1999, he was chosen to train with the Great Britain squad and narrowly missed out on selection for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Bitterly disappointed, he decided to dedicate himself 100% to the sport and began training full-time. In 2002, Andy experienced international competition for the first time at the World Championships in Gothenburg.
During his career, the Englishman has competed in three Paralympic Games, three World Championships and three European Championships, an event at which he won a record-breaking three gold medals in a row.
He captained Great Britain from 2005-2010, leading the team at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. In 2012, Andy bowed out from his sport after the London Paralympic Games in his home city.
Since retiring from the sport, Andy he has become a motivational speaker and mentor for young people. After the London 2012 Games, he helped implement an Athlete Inspiration Programme in his local area to help build a legacy from the event. Andy also spends time visiting schools around the world, delivering workshops on commitment, determination, teamwork, overcoming adversity and nutrition
Andy is currently an Ambassador for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, an event of which Laureus Sport for Good is the charity partner.