Participating at London 2012 may have involved missing his best friend’s wedding, but British wheelchair basketball player Gaz Choudhry wouldn't have had it any other way.

The ParalympicsGB athlete chose to miss the ceremony as he and his team-mates were moving into the Athletes’ Village, coincidentally driving past the church it was taking place in on their way towards Stratford.

Choudhry and his band of brothers narrowly missed out on a medal that year, nevertheless making amends in Rio by winning bronze as well as scooping the World Championships in Germany last year.

And with Tokyo 2020 and the next Paralympic Games on the horizon, the 34-year-old has set his sights on going even further in Japan.

“Gold in Tokyo would definitely be more special than winning the Worlds,” said Choudry, who was speaking at a Sainsbury’s store in Finchley.

“The Paralympics is absolutely still the pinnacle of our sport.

“The first goal now is to get selected, and the second goal is to win the gold medal.

“In the Paralympics the magnitude of what the movement is absolutely bears on you.

“You’re not just representing wheelchair basketball, but you’re represented ParalympicsGB and everything that means.

“The first day you arrive in the village it’s just absolutely surreal.

“To just see the scope of the movement and the hundreds of athletes who have devoted their entire life to this one sole goal makes it really special.”

Choudhry’s journey to Paralympic stardom was a curious one, balancing his training with a degree in Political Science at Royal Holloway University before going onto play for clubs in Italy, Germany and – most recently – Spain.

His current side Amiab Albacete represent one of Europe’s premier teams, winning the league in 2017 in a division Choudhry believes is the most competitive on the planet.

Having sampled the hype of a Paralympics on two separate occasions, the wheelchair basketball player is now one of his country’s most experienced players.

With Choudhry now assuming a greater leadership role in the side, the prospect of nurturing some of Britain’s most promising young talent is something he relishes.

“What I now love about wheelchair basketball is the puzzle of the sport,” added Choudry, who was helping to promote Sainsbury’s role as longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all.

“Finding solutions and the problem solving in the sport is what I enjoy now – the intricacies and the nuances of it all and the tactical stuff.

“I am one of the more tactical thinkers in the team, especially as one of the older athletes.”

Although now an experienced campaigner who thinks deeply about his sport, Choudhry says he often reflects on how he first got involved in wheelchair basketball as a fresh-faced, sport loving 12-year-old.

His subsequent move was to join London-based club Force – now London Titans – where he honed his skills under the influential stewardship of Paralympians Sinclair Thomas and Ade Adepitan.

“It’s hard for me to articulate that feeling of being 12-years-old and getting in a chair for the first time,” he said nostalgically.

“It seems kind of antithetical but to get in that chair just made me feel so free again and like a child again.

“I just fell in love with it right there and then.

“Then I was really fortunate to learn from Sinclair and Ade – it was unbelievable learning from them and they were just so welcoming.

“Seeing those elite athletes straight away as a 12-year-old my imagination was just captured instantly – it just made me think: ‘wow, this is possible.’”

Sainsbury’s is the longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. Sainsbury’s commitment to helping customers live well for less has been at the heart of what we do since 1869. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit