Born in Glasgow’s East End, there’s one special club behind Scottish Wheelchair Rugby taking its place on the international stage.

With self-described grit and stubbornness, Glasgow Panthers coach Adam Mould and his players have fought hard to lift the sport into the public eye.

And that determination has resulted in a global first — with Scottish Rugby Union being the first national governing body to recognise Wheelchair Rugby Union 7s in the same company as able-bodied rugby.

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Adam shares the crucial milestone for the sport, as he explains: “We were invited to Murrayfield Stadium two months ago as the SRU recognised us as a valid rugby sport, as well as myself as a Scottish national coach.

"It may be a different avenue but we’re an official rugby sport after a long road getting here.”

The story behind the founding of the Glasgow Panthers comes from Adam’s life experience and the challenges faced living with a rare progressive form of muscular dystrophy.

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The straight-talking former army radio operator says: “The club started as I ended up in a wheelchair and attempted suicide three times. I couldn’t cope… to be honest, I still don’t cope very well with it.

“I was a martial arts instructor and I had to find something that was physical and still made me feel as if I was normal and got out my frustrations at the same time.

“The club started as a way of helping me, and only me. That sounds wrong yet that’s how it started. But all that changed within six months. It wasn’t about me anymore, it was all about them...my players."

For everyone at the club, wheelchair rugby is everything a sport should be — physical, inclusive and competitive. Well known in Easterhouse where they train, the club has become embedded in the community.

“Everybody knows us,” says Adam. “We’ve got disabled and able-bodied players in the team, it’s fully inclusive and it’s about bringing people together.”

“It’s a mixed team we have. We’ve got four players under 12 training with us. Four of the boys, I’ve had them since they were eight-years-old and they’re now 17, 18. Two of them are able-bodied.

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“Kieran is 18 now. He’s been with my since he was eight. And he’s now studying for his coaching. I took really not well a few months ago and I had to be away from the club during that time.

“I shut the club down until I got myself sorted. And Kieran came to me and said, ‘don’t shut the club down again, I’ll run it.’ I said you’ll need to get you coaching done first, but we got it sorted. So now if I can’t make it or I’m now well Kieran will step in.

Adam adds, “It sounds really corny saying we’re all one big happy family, but we actually are.”

Josephine Quinn, 16, has been with the Glasgow Panthers for almost six years, overcoming her own personal challenges to continue playing the sport.

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Josephine explains: "I started with the Panthers as I have a disabled aunt and it was something we could play together. I later got diagnosed with ME and I decided it was more beneficial to stay with playing.”

Despite being exhausted for the next couple of days after a training session or tournament, she adds: “I used to play lots of sports but after I got diagnosed I had to stop playing all the other sports. Although, playing wheelchair rugby with the Panthers has stayed beneficial as it allows me to continue with sport despite my illness."

With experience of having played at both club and international level, Josephine has one memory that stands out most, as she recalls: “My best personal moment playing for the club was when I scored the winning try against the English team in a tournament in Glasgow.”

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Along with Adam and the rest of the Panthers, Josephine is looking forward to being part of the 2020 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year. The club has been invited to play a demonstration match as part of the Rugby 7s tournament.

Hinting at the springboard the Commonwealth Games appearance will give the club and the sport, Adam says: “After this experience, there’s a good chance we’ll be involved in the Paralympics... that is the route we’re going down.

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“It’s a lot of stubbornness and my probably my loud mouth that’s got us recognised,” Adam laughs.

With a club both the city and Scotland can be proud of, the Glasgow Panthers are currently welcoming new players and coaches for the new season starting in August, as well as sponsorship support for new equipment and tournament travel expenses. To get in touch, contact Adam at glasgowpanthers@gmail.com.