Finally we have sunshine in the north, which means we have seen an increase in outdoor activities this month, even the Phoenix House staff have been out and about training for a Tough Mudder coming up in August! More importantly we saw all four Recovery Centres come together up North, to fight for the winning title in the Phoenix Games.
The Phoenix Games ran for four days, it was a huge success, and enjoyed by all. The four Recovery Centres competed for the winning trophy in activities such as wheelchair rugby, raft building athletics, archery and a quiz hosted by Coronation Street actor Anthony Cotton.
"I love coming here," said Antony, who plays Sean Tully in the soap. "Help for Heroes Recovery Centres are quite magical places and do very, very important work thanks to all the millions of pounds raised by the British public. That is why I get into the car and regularly drive two hours to Phoenix House. I feel at home there."
Tedworth House deservingly took the trophy back home with them, but Phoenix House are determined to win it back when it comes to the Phoenix Winter Games early next year.
Veteran Ben Mead, who was taking part in the Phoenix Games, as a member of the Colchester team, found time to continue with his #22 Push Up challenge, and managed to involve other beneficiaries and staff. What originated in the US to spread awareness of the 22 veterans a day believed to commit suicide due to Post Traumatic Stress, has now become a global challenge with individuals nominating friends to join them in doing 22 press ups a day for 22 days. Having been nominated by a friend to do #22, Ben was keen to take part and spread the word about the issues. He was really pleased when other Phoenix Games athletes and Phoenix House staff joined him. Catterick's Supported Activities Manager, Rob Hood, said even those unable to do push ups were there to cheer Ben on. "It created good camaraderie among the teams from the four Recovery Centres - all showing their support for Ben and the cause."
Also this month, a team of eight Band of Brothers successfully took on Megavalanche – one of mountain biking’s toughest challenges, and in doing so, the group became the first disabled team to complete the epic event - one of the longest downhill races in the world. In addition, one of them - Rachel Kipling – became the first female to compete alongside the men as usually there is a separate women’s race.
As part of the Sports Recovery programme, the cyclists began training in January, beginning with a weekend in Hamsterley Forest and finding progressively more difficult venues to practice, ending up at Fort William on the slopes of Ben Nevis!
“We tried to find as much variety on our training weekends to really challenge our team and give them as much experience as possible,” said Roger, who led the training for the team. “But what we couldn’t replicate from Megavalanche was snow and the very thin mountain air that you get at high altitude, so it was essential that we arrived in the French Alps early enough to practice in these conditions before we undertook the real thing.”
Well done team, what an achievement!
So what's coming up?
- Wednesday 10 August – Family Summer BBQ at Phoenix House 1100 – 1400
- Thursday 18 August – BoB/BoS Get-together in Scarborough
- Thursday 25 August – BoB/BoS Get-together at The Parlour, Blagdon, Newcastle
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