The Commonwealth Games is just the beginning for many athletes. For its latest campaign, The Start Line, Team England has selected a handful of rising stars who came to the fore at Birmingham 2022, looking back on their moment of success and hearing first-hand how they felt in that moment and how they hope it can set them up for future success.
Team England sat down with Charlie McIntyre, one of the youngest members of Team England’s squad for Birmingham 2022, who secured bronze in the Commonwealth Games’ inaugural 3x3 Wheelchair Basketball competition.
At just 17 years old, Charlie McIntyre became one of the youngest athletes ever to represent Team England at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. And during the Opening Ceremony, he could not help but be blown away by the roar and reception from the crowd, he describes as "something he’s never experienced before."
Despite his youth, Charlie knows he is a force to be reckoned with: ‘’Three out of our four players are under 20, so we’re quite a young team’’ he says. ‘’But I don’t see myself as a 17-year-old kid going to the Games, I’m an athlete here and I want to win’’.
Playing a key role in the men’s 3x3 Wheelchair Basketball team securing a bronze medal in their debut performance, McIntyre shares his parents’ words of wisdom that helped him acknowledge the magnitude of his achievement: ‘’They said the fact that you’re a bronze medallist is a big achievement and not many people can say that they’ve done that’’.
Implementing some wisdom of his own, he advises aspiring athletes to focus on working hard and to train at centres that constantly push you to become better. It is a philosophy that has helped him develop a love for the sport over time, and one that he believes will be key to his success in the future.
Looking ahead to Victoria 2026, Charlie is determined to go for the gold. "I’m going to take every stride as it comes and keep trying to learn and improve and see what happens from there," he says, adding that he is looking forward to the opportunity to "beat the Aussies in their backyard like they did to us."
With his talent and drive, there is no doubt that Charlie’s journey at his first Games marks just the beginning for him and we can expect many more achievements from him in the future.