With the 2016 Rio Paralympics soon to start, Plymouth’s wounded military veterans have been finding out what Wheelchair Rugby is all about. GB Wheelchair Rugby sent one of their coaches and multiple game chairs along to Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Recovery Centre to give the charity’s Band of Brothers/Sisters and beneficiaries and their families a taste of the sport.
Veteran Mike Bellamy said: “Taking part in team sport is a great way of meeting other people. Wheelchair Rugby is physically and mentally challenging so it gives you a focus and takes your mind off everything else.”
Fellow veteran Luke White added: “Sport is great for helping people with injuries. Wheelchair Rugby allows people to be aggressive but have fun at the same time. You can offer it to anyone.”
All ages and abilities took part and everyone enjoyed the teamwork and banter together.
Elsewhere in the South West, young Kezia Ormrod had the special task of presenting HRH Prince of Wales with a gift from Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Recovery Centre this week. Alongside dad Mark and H4H Head of Recovery West Jock Easton, Kezia, 11, presented Prince Charles with a basket of flowers, vegetables and honey from the Hero Garden within Devonport Naval Base. The Naval Base was the Prince’s last stop on an extensive tour of the South West, alongside wife Camilla who had another engagement elsewhere. Kezia explained to the very important guest that all of the items in the basket had been grown by beneficiaries of the centre in the garden, which opened in September last year and has already proven to have great psychological benefits, as well as great produce!
Kezia said: “The Prince said he wanted to know where the vegetables came from and he wanted to know whether I had finished school and he was happy about the fresh honey. He asked whether I was looking after my dad and I said I was. I was a bit nervous and had been practising my curtsy."
The Prince also spoke to dad Mark, a triple amputee from Plymouth.
Mark commented: "I am always very happy to be invited to these things and come and represent the Royal Marines and Help for Heroes and the other services charities helping injured servicemen and women. The first thing the Prince said to me was 'We've met before' and he asked what I was doing now and how the recovery was going and whether I was going to get involved in the Invictus Games. I said that would be next year. I would like to try the running, cycling and swimming – and if they introduce cage fighting I'd like to have a go at that as well!
The annual CHICKS break, breaks specifically designed for children of wounded, injured and sick personnel, have just returned from a week of fantastic activities in Devon and Cornwall.
I had a chat with Jacob and Lauren James today who returned on Friday from a week of fun and laughs where they also had the opportunity to make new friends with other children of BoB and BoS.
Jacob said “It was so much fun, we went bowling and it didn’t matter that I came second to last because it was so funny and we couldn’t stop laughing!”
Lauren said she really enjoyed going surfing in Mawgan Porth in Cornwall, “I caught some really massive waves and on the bus on the way back it was like a disco bus party because Tony our driver played some brilliant music!”
It sounds like fantastic fun was had by all!
So what's coming up?
- Tuesday 9 August Bideford get together (Venue TBC)
- Thursday 11 August family picnic Saltram Park, Plymouth
- Tuesday 16 August Donkey Sanctuary Visit, Sidmouth
- Thursday 25 August Exmouth get together (Venue TBC)
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