WHEELCHAIR RUGBY LEAGUE

22nd September 2016, 12:18 | wheelchair

BBC's DIY SOS transform house for Wheelchair Rugby League player

BBC's DIY SOS transform house for Wheelchair Rugby League player

The episode is estimated to have attracted over four million viewers...

Described as their 'most ambitious build to date' the BBC's DIY SOS team pulled out all the stops to create a home accessible for Wheelchair Rugby League player, Scott Jones, from Cheltenham.

The 17-year-old, who narrowly missed out in making the GB Paralympic team for shot put in 2012, had three strokes in just five months while aged just 11.

His shot put dreams were cut short after he sustained an injury to his arm.

Just one year later, he was left paralysed from the waist down and was forced to use a wheelchair.

He then turned to rowing, becoming a member of the GB Development Squad, while starting to play Wheelchair Rugby League for Swindon St George.

Prior to the work of the DIY SOS team, his family home had narrow doorways, making it completely inaccessible, to the extent he couldn't even shower in his own home, instead, he had to visit his local gym to wash.

With just nine days to transform the home, Nick Knowles and local traders from Cheltenham set about transforming the house, to make it accessible and give him his independence back.

Admitting they had to 'build the house from scratch', they tore off the roof, foundations and walls to create an open-plan home, complete with extension.

The team set about remodelling, rewiring and redecorating the home to meet Scott's needs, including cooking facilities, an accessible garden and a gym.

DIY SOS regularly attracts over three million viewers per episode

The Wheelchair RL Four Nations takes place this weekend

Fighting back tears of joy, he told Nick Knowles and his team: "It's a bit surreal. When I left I could barely get in. I can now cook, I can do something. I don't have to worry about getting stuck in the door.

"I never thought this would happen - thank you for making my life accessible. All I wanted was a wet room, I didn't expect all this to happen. It has kind of transformed my life."

But the best was yet to come for Scott, as Nick unveiled that a sponsor has come forward to fund his dreams to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo.

The show also featured a segment from a St George training session, where members of the DIY SOS team, Billy Byrne and Julian Perryman, got a taste of Wheelchair Rugby League.

Paying tribute to the impact of Wheelchair Rugby League, Scott said: "I was told I'd never play rugby again, then I found Wheelchair Rugby League last year and it's helped change my life.

"It might be on wheels, but it's just the same as any team sport and I love it.

"For me, Wheelchair Rugby League helps me with both physical and physiological things; you might lose but you're still playing rugby."


Wheelchair Rugby League has enjoyed a landmark year, and its next big event comes this weekend, as the Wheelchair Four Nations take place this weekend.

Tickets are priced (per day) at just £10 for adults, £7.50 concessions and £5 for children aged 16 and under.

There is also a special family ticket which will allow two adults and up to four children to attend for only £20.

Tickets are available HERE, with entry also allowed on the gate.

Tuesday night's episode can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer HERE.