Attending a free taster session was all it took for Phil Pratt to fall in love with wheelchair basketball.

Aged 13, Pratt attended a wheelchair sports taster session in Cardiff where he tried everything from tennis to sledge hockey before he decided he wanted to pursue basketball.

To start off with, Pratt played just for a bit of fun and before he knew it, he was captaining the Great Britain team to European and World Championship gold, beating some of the world’s greatest-ever wheelchair basketball stars in the process.

For Pratt, the moral of his story is: whether you’re aiming to become a Paralympian or not, there’s never a reason to regret getting involved in disability sport.

“Initially, I just wanted to have some fun. I had no idea what it could lead to,” he said.

“I’ve always loved playing and watching sport and I’m so happy I got the opportunity to be involved in wheelchair basketball.

“Staying active and keeping fit is huge but the mental side is just as important for me. When I was a child, I had a lot of insecurities and I wasn’t really sure where I would fit in, but wheelchair basketball gave me a positive outlet.

“I always had my role models, like the American Steve Serio, but I never expected to launch a full sporting career. It was so surreal last year because when we beat the USA in the World Championships final, he was the captain, and I was captaining Great Britain.

“It was quite a weird switch of roles to be beating my idol in a major world final.”

He’s had a remarkable career, but Pratt knows his route into disability sport was fortunate given that the initial taster session took place just minutes away from his family home.

Toyota Parasport Fund awards grants to activity providers across the UK with the aim of increasing the quality and quantity of activities available to disabled people.

Disability sport is on the rise, but the Great Britain captain knows not everyone has had the same opportunities as him, something he is hoping the Toyota Parasport Fund will change.

“It’s going to be absolutely huge for disability sport,” he added.

“When I first started, there was barely any money involved in disability sport. It was always a case of having to step forward yourself to look for more opportunities.

“I was lucky enough to have been involved from an early age, but I know some of my teammates stumbled across the sport they love later in life because they didn’t have the same opportunities.

“The taster session was about five minutes from my house, which was lucky, but not everyone has the same opportunity.

“Now, even people who weren’t aware of disability sport before know exactly what’s going on.

“Paralympic sport has come along massively. When we first rolled out on to the court at Rio 2016, I had no idea what to expect.

“I somehow saw my dad in the crowd of 15,000 watching our game and I thought, wow, I’m not sure if I’m ready for this.

“I think wheelchair basketball was one of the highest-selling sports at the 2016 Paralympic Games and it’s huge it’s now getting the recognition that it deserves.”

Launching on 4th November 2019, the brand new Toyota Parasport Fund open is now open for applications. This exciting new opportunity means activity providers registered on Parasport can apply for grants to improve the quality and quantity of sport and activities available to disabled people. To apply, visit