Hartpury’s Great Britain and England Paralympic football goalkeeper Giles Moore has set his sights on World Championship glory in 2017 after a successful stint in Rio.
Moore, 19, who has just started a Sports Therapy degree at Hartpury University Centre, recently marked his Paralympic debut in Rio by helping his team to a fifth place finish in the men’s football seven-a-side despite nursing a dislocated finger and having only been playing internationally for a little over two years.
The stopper, who has cerebral palsy – affecting both his legs, saw his side placed in a four-team group with the eventual gold medallists, Ukraine, and the bronze medal winners, Brazil. Despite losing narrowly 2-1 to both these sides, Great Britain were able to beat Ireland 5-1 before winning 2-0 against Argentina in the fifth/sixth place play-off.
Moore, from Horton in Somerset, now has his sights firmly set on next year’s World Championships in Argentina where he’ll be hoping his side can go one better than the fifth place finish they achieved in 2015.
“After a couple of strong performances at recent tournaments, we’re all focused on making it to Argentina next year. We start up again in January with a view to qualifying and I can’t wait to play again.
“We’ve proved that we are one of the top sides in the world and that’s saying a lot because we’re up against some teams who are full-time whereas we only train once a month – so the last couple of years have been really successful for us and it would be great if we could keep pushing higher.”
The England keeper, who was born with cerebral palsy, has been playing football since the age of seven and only made the move into disability football in his final year at secondary school after being encouraged by his teacher to try it out.
In the 2014 Cerebral Palsy (CP) European Championships, Moore picked up the goalkeeper of the year award before he was named in the team of the tournament the following year at the CP World Championships on home soil.
The Sports Therapy degree student is also one of the first students at Hartpury to take up the chance to receive elite level professional support through the new multi-sport academy. With Hartpury already housing nine successful academies, the new multi-sport offering will allow students who are involved in sports outside of Hartpury’s regular academies to receive professional services like strength and conditioning, nutrition and sports psychology.
Moore added: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the new academy at Hartpury and I’m hoping that they can help to keep me at my best when I’m not training with England. I know they have a great history of success and I know it’s the best place for me to develop my skills.”
Away from football, Moore is also swapping saving shots for taking them, having represented his county in target shooting with air rifles and pistols.
Football seven-a-side at the Paralympics is for players who have cerebral palsy or an acquired brain injury. Each team consists of seven players. The playing field and goalposts are smaller, there is no offside rule, throw-ins are rolled in under arm and matches last 30 minutes per half.
Players are allocated a number between five and eight depending on their degree of impairment, with class five being the highest level of impairment. Each side must maintain a line-up featuring players with varying levels of impairments, and each team of seven must include one athlete from class five or six.