The GB Wheelchair basketball team star, taking part in what will be his seventh consecutive Games, has been working with Alex Bliss, Strength and Conditioning Coach based at the university’s Welkin Laboratories in Eastbourne.
Alex said: “Simon has been has been an integral member of the Men’s Elite Great British Basketball team for over 20 years. Simon, who lives in Peacehaven, has been accessing the University of Brighton’s Sport and Exercise Science Consultancy Unit for around eight years in preparation for three Paralympic games – Beijing in 2008, London, 2012, and now Rio de Janeiro.”
Simon lost his leg in a train accident when he was 22 and is one of the oldest competitors in the Games – at 48.
Simon has been working with Alex since 2012 to assist with his physical preparation to play for the GB squad. The funding for this originally came from the English Institute of Sport, but now comes directly from the National Governing Body.
Alex said: “As the Great British Wheelchair Basketball team are located in Worcester, the National Governing Body pay me to provide support for Simon in his home region. As an accredited coach through the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association, the work I do primarily consists of gym-based strength and conditioning, as well as some laboratory-based physical profiling.
“Simon has won a silver medal (Atlanta 1996) and two bronze medals at Paralympics in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 and the team achieved a fourth place finish at London 2012. Team GB are the current European champions and are hoping to go as far as possible in Brazil.
Alex said: “I’ve just texted Simon to wish him and the team luck – I’m hopeful they will come home with a medal.”
Simon, who is aiming to win gold, described the coaching he has received from Alex and the university as “awesome”.
Watch Simon and Alex on ITV Meridian news.