Tamas Gaspar Wins International Gold in Para Archery

Tamas Gaspar has won his first international Gold medal at the 6th Fazza Para Archery World Ranking tournament in Dubai last week (16-22 February). He beat Jean Pierre Antonios from Finland and Naci Yenier from Turkey to take the top spot in the Men’s W1 (rec/comp).

Speaking about his win, Tamas said, “This is my first ever international GOLD medal after 3 very difficult H2H matches due to the wind. I would like to thank Gary and Kathy Critchlow-Smith for their commitment to coaching me and helping me achieve this fantastic result. It really wouldn’t have happened without generous support from my family, The Worshipful Company of Fletchers, Hydrachem, BWAA, Bowmen of Warfield, Hungarian Paralympic Committee, Hungarian Archery Association and of course SportsAble.”

Before joining SportsAble, Tamas was a fit and healthy full-time engineer. In 2010 he started to experience a strange numbness in his right leg. Despite spending nine months in hospital, doctors were unable to detect the problem. As the paralysis spread, Tamas became dependent on a wheelchair. Eventually he was diagnosed with sever spinal Myelitis.

During one of his stays in hospital, Tamas met a SportsAble member who was receiving treatment for an amputation. He was encouraged to visit SportsAble and get active. Initially, Tamas joined the Wheelchair Basketball team which he really enjoyed. Unfortunately, he damaged his finger during one of the games and had to stop playing.

He also joined the swimming and air weapons sessions. Attending the regular sports sessions meant he got active and sociable. This helped him break the cycle of isolation and inactivity caused by endless time in hospital waiting for a diagnosis.

After leaving the Wheelchair Basketball section, Tamas tried Archery for the first time. It soon became clear that Tamas had unearthed a sporting talent. As he continued to train, his results improved. He soon caught the eye of Paralympian and SportsAble member Kathy Critchlow-Smith and her husband and coach Gary.

The couple have been coaching Tamas ever since and been instrumental in his rise through the international rankings. Today Tamas is training hard and dreams of securing a place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

SportsAble continues to encourage people living with disability to try sport. It has recently launched the UK’s only free, weekly sports taster sessions for people living with physical and sensory disability and other long-term impairments. The sessions are every Monday from 10:30am to 12:00pm. SportsAble coaches deliver the sessions and tailor them to meet the need of every participant. If you would like to Have a Go please email sportsdevelopmentofficers@sportsable.co.uk or call 01628 627690.

On March 1st, the Archery section is hosting a Have a Go archery day from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. The session is open to non-members and members. There is not cost. Please email sportsdevelopmentofficers@sportsable.co.uk or call 01628 627690 to secure a place.