So far the Paralympic Inspiration Programme has proved an absolute success, and here at Help for Heroes we’re so proud and privileged to have given eight aspiring Paralympians the opportunity to be a part of that. The feedback we have had from the Athletes has been amazing, with each one saying how valuable and inspiring the programme is, and how honoured they are to have been selected to attend.
One of these Athletes is Fusilier Andy Barlow GM (27) who is originally from Bolton, Lancashire and was awarded the George Medal for bravery. In 2006, he was left with horrific injuries after a landmine exploded blowing off his foot.
Having fought back from injury, Andy is now part of the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team (CSDST) and is supported in this by Help for Heroes. He is passionate about skiing and competes in events, including the Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G.
With aspirations of competing for his county in the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, the Paralympic Inspiration Programme is the perfect vehicle to fuel Andy’s determination and dedication to his training, and gives him an insight into an Athlete’s life both before and during a Paralympic Games.
Reflecting on his experience so far, Andy writes: “Rosa Khutor is a stunning place and is built in a bowl with the mountains as a backdrop. We all attended the opening ceremony on Friday and had an amazing time. The ceremony itself was outstanding and the Coastal Village is stunning, it was a privilege to watch all the athletes march out and a great experience to see the Torch lit. So far we have had a good insight into Curling which is a sport I’ve never really seen before. Ice Sledge Hockey is a brutal sport and a great game to watch, it was an honor to be joined by the president of there IPC Sir Philip Craven.