Today, disabled athletes from the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team (CSDST), which has been supported by Help for Heroes, will start their ride from Edinburgh to London, with the aim of raising £20,000 to help send serving and veteran skiers to the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
The athletes, accompanied by riders from Team sponsors, Selex ES, Team staff and private individuals, will set off today from Edinburgh Castle and finish in London on 9th September.
Cycling from one historic seat of power to another, the riders aim to reach the Tower of London six days later, on the eve of the Invictus Games. The athletes will be riding road bikes and specially adapted cycles including hand bikes and a tandem.
Among the athletes taking part is ex Royal Signals Sergeant Mick Brennan (34), who made his Paralympic debut at the Sochi Winter Games in March 2014 with support from CSDST and Help for Heroes. Also riding will be former Army reservist and Band of Brother, Jamie Hull (38), who suffered life-changing burns in a flying training accident in 2007. He will also take part in the cycling events the following week at the Invictus Games.
Jamie, who is new to the Combined Services Ski Team but for whom sport has always played a key part in his life, said: “Being part of the Team has given me back a sense of purpose and given me back that competitive spirit once again. The support they provide me is unique and professional. I am hoping to go as far in competitive ski racing as I can.”
The Combined Services Ski Team supports wounded, injured and sick service people and veterans by introducing them to alpine ski racing. From novice skiers to Paralympians, the aim is to develop individual talent and skills to enable athletes to reach their skiing potential as well as accelerate their physical and mental rehabilitation.
The Team’s Chairman, Brigadier Fred Hargreaves OBE who also helped start Battle Back with H4H’s Martin Colclough back in 2008, said: “Adaptive skiing changes people’s lives, giving wounded, injured and sick Servicemen, Servicewomen and veterans the opportunity to regain their sense of adventure, confidence and competitiveness.
Brigadier Hargreaves, who will be leading the riders from Edinburgh to the Tower of London, said
The riders will be cheered to the finish at the Tower of London on the afternoon of 9th September by Team mates, family and friends.
Further information can be found at http://www.selex-es.com/about-us/csr/community/ride-of-thrones and http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/news/story.aspx?storyID=9223#.U-21hUtV98M