Drew Graham at his easel working on a mouth painting

Enhanced Wheelchair for Motivational Rugby Coach 

Robin Tarr is no stranger to challenge, or at working his hardest to overcome it. At 16 he was involved in a devastating road traffic accident, breaking his neck and severing his spinal cord. He has been wheelchair-bound ever since. Instead of halting him, he learned to adapt and has had an illustrious sporting and coaching career in Wheelchair rugby. Unfortunately, more recent injuries have threatened to halt his forthcoming endeavours and prompted his nomination for a Primrose Award. The CiaO Foundation was only too happy to choose Robin as a recipient, with an award supporting a new specialised wheelchair. 

Between 1990 and 2005, Robin represented Great Britain in every major wheelchair rugby event including 3 Paralympic Games, 3 World Games and 3 European Championships. He even captained the GB team at the Athens 2004 Paralympics.  Retirement from playing gave him more time to work on coaching, volunteering, motivational speaking and mentoring were he supported others with their challenges and inspired personal growth.  In 2010 things faltered, when Robin severely fractured his leg and hip, an injury which has continued to hamper him to the present.  His sitting posture has drastically declined with the loss of his left hip joint, causing extreme lower back pain and difficulties in propelling his wheelchair. His new specialised wheelchair with appropriately designed parts will go a long way to helping Robin, easing his pain and increasing his mobility. 

More than the physical benefits, Robin's new chair will allow him to take part in his passion, as assistant coach of the Great British Wheelchair Rugby team. He and the team have a new challenge; to prepare for and compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. It is not an easy road, with numerous training camps, international games and all at a time when the team has recently lost funding from UK Sport. Robin, his new chair and his impressive resolve intend to be with them every step of the way.  CiaO Foundation Vice Chair, Andrew Hogge was pleased to meet and present Robin with his Primrose Award recently, at a fundraising event for the team at the Lloyds building in London. 

Robin receives his Primrose Award from CiaO foundation's Vice Chair Andrew Hogge.


“My passion is not just in the sport, it's about sharing my life experiences with young disabled athletes and helping them overcome their obstacles in life and meet the same challenges head-on.”

Robin Tarr

Using one's own experience of challenges and overcoming them to help and inspire others, is also very much part of the CiaO outlook. Robin is an amazing and a shining example of that. By helping him with his current challenge we know that he will go on to support and encourage so many other people with theirs." 

Jamie McGhee - Media Manager CiaO Foundation