Sam Bowen /

Sam Bowen


Sitting volleyball


Mountain Ash


Sam fulfilled her dream to join the British Army in 2003. She launched and operated state-of-the-art drones which flew above the battlefields of southern Iraq carrying out surveillance. But on May 15, 2006, she suffered severe wounds when razor-sharp shrapnel sliced into her right leg and back when militants fired more than 30 mortar rounds at her regiment's base in Al Amara. She nearly bled to death before an emergency operation saved her life and was flown to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham for further surgery.

But against huge odds, Samantha has made an astonishing recovery. The women's team finished seventh in Europe at a recent tournament.

Anthony Hughes of Disability Sport Wales: "From the moment, Sam started in the DSW Volleyball programme, she snapped up every opportunity at both at Sport Wales National Centre and with the Celtic Dragons team. She was noticed quickly by the GB head coach and was invited to train in Roehampton - the Sitting Volleyball training base. Her personal attributes are outstanding. She is driven, dynamic and an absolute competitor. She represents everything Wales is about."