CHANGING people’s perceptions on disability sport is a key driver for judoka Chris Skelley as he aims to win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games.

The 26-year-old competes in the -100kg category and was part of the British team during the 2016 Games in Rio.

Earlier this year, Skelley claimed the world number one spot but he knows he can’t take it easy in the build up to Tokyo.

“There was a bit of a buzz and I was really happy for about five minutes and then I thought that now I’ve got a massive target on my back,” said Skelley, speaking at a visit to Sainsbury’s Reedswood store.

“I then realised every session you have to train like it’s your last and you have to train harder.

“It didn’t really change everything, it’s a title, it’s not the biggest thing and for me getting a medal at the Paralympics is more important.

“It’s a great thing that ticks a box but you don’t rest on your laurels, you carry on and work hard.

“I’ve medalled at every event so far this year and it’s put me in a good standing for next year.

“It’s not been the worst year but there’s plenty of stuff to improve on and if you rest on your laurels, you will be caught up.

“You will always have to lead and keep going in making yourself better. Yes, I’m world number one but there’s still people I haven’t beaten yet and that’s why I keep training the hardest I can train.”

European medallist Skelley, who is from Hull, trains at the Centre of Excellence in Walsall and is determined to showcase what Great Britain can do.  

“Hopefully if I get to Tokyo, my ambitions will be to medal and I’d really like to win it and make my family proud,” added Skelley, who was helping to promote Sainsbury’s role as longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. 

“But also, just to change people’s perspective on disability sport as well. If you look at me, I’m big and tall and no-one thinks I’m visually impaired.

“It’s a really hidden disability so leading into next year the ambition will be to perform but also to show that the Paralympics is also for people who have disabilities that are hidden and to get that message out there.

“Japan is the home of judo and where judo originated, so judo will be on a big scale there so for me that’ll be a huge buzz and I can’t wait to go and perform, and show the world what ParalympicsGB can do because we are one of the best teams around the world. “

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