MEET THE BOARD – NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARK TURNER
Sixth/ Final member on our new segment of “MEET THE BOARD” is club Non- Executive Director Mark Turner.
Mark joined the West Wales Raiders in 2020 after helping create The West Wales Raiders Wheelchair team.
We caught up with Mark on his previous roles, playing both wheelchair rugby union and league and his dreams for wheelchair rugby league in Wales.
“Hello all, I am an Army Veteran and a Qualified Engineer. After finishing in the Army, I became a third Engineer for P&O Cruise lines and a Site Engineer for McAlpine’s, helping build Princess Hayes shopping centre in Exeter and Cabot Circus in Bristol.
Most of my life I have played rugby in both codes plus sevens. When I became disabled, I came out of hospital in an electric wheelchair, without the use of my legs or right arm.
I worked relentlessly with a Neurological Physiotherapist to be able to use my right arm again and to be able to use a manual wheelchair. The last 3 years I have been doing a lot of gym work building my arm back up and getting fit again, so I can play wheelchair rugby.
Last year at the age of 52 I gained his first Welsh Cap in Scotland, winning 92 – 12 and scoring on my debut.
I am also one of the four founding members of Ebbw Vale Wheelchair Sports Club and Secretary/Business Manager. A club that was set up to be fully inclusive using the wheelchair as the leveller for all disabilities and non- disabled to be able to play sport together.
It became apparent that EVWSC could not sustain all its travelling teams, so during lockdown they decided that the best option was for Ebbw Rollers RL team to merge with the Raiders to form the new West Wales Raiders Wheelchair Team.
The next chapter will be taking Wheelchair Rugby League into communities, schools, colleges and building new teams. This can only strengthen Wheelchair Rugby League in South Wales. My dream will be to have Raiders players in the Welsh team for the 2021 World Cup in England & to create further teams within the west under the Raiders brand.