Twenty four wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans - part of a group from Help for Heroes – are set to line up on the start line as the first disabled group to take on the Enduroman Arch to Arc challenge on Friday 25 September, subject to weather and Channel tides, as they rebuild their lives.
The group have been training for nine months, having taken on various events and challenges to prepare them for what lies ahead. Some of the training events alone have been significant and have included the Bolton Ironman, Cotswold Classic and 113 events, as well as bespoke open water swim camps in order to prepare for the conditions of the Channel.
Mark Airey, Strength and Conditioning Co-Ordinator at Help for Heroes said: “It’s fantastic that the group have come so far to this point. Challenges like Arch to Arc provided our wounded with a sense of purpose and confidence in what they can achieve, this has proven to be of particular importance to this group. All of these benefits can be translated outside of sport and into day to day life; sport helps with coping strategies and resilience – which is so important on an individual’s recovery journey.”
For those that have been selected, the Arch to Arc ultra-distance triathlon requires relay teams to run 87 miles from Marble Arch London to the Dover coast, to swim across the Channel, and finish with an 181 mile bike from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe, Paris and has never been attempted by a disabled team before. The clock starts at Marble Arch, London and stops at Arc de Triomphe, Paris, regardless of weather or delays.
Participants are wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women that are beneficiaries of Help for Heroes, incorporating all abilities, using sport as part of their recovery journey. Participants are also fundraising in support of the charity that has helped them in their recovery, to maintain and ensure others can benefit from the same support further down the line. Quite simply, without the public’s support Help for Heroes wouldn’t be able to continue to do the work they do.
The team will be supported by former model and TV presenter Jodie Kidd – who will be outriding on the run and cycle routes.
Jodie said: “I’m very much looking forward to supporting these incredible individuals on such an amazing challenge. I’ve enjoyed time at Help for Heroes’ Tedworth House Recovery Centre where I practised cycling alongside a race wheelchair, very much like I’ll be doing throughout the challenge itself as an outrider. It’s going to be a real test, but we’re going to push ourselves and it’s going to be an incredible achievement – it’s fantastic to see the benefits of sport to an individual’s recovery. I urge people to please donate to this important cause, without the public’s generosity Help for Heroes wouldn’t be able to continue to provide the support to our wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, that they so deserve.”
The training programme has been running for nine months as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme. The challenge itself is due to begin on Friday 25th September 2015 (subject to weather and tides).
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have offered 300 events across 50 different sports enabling over 2,100 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports from grassroots through to performance level.
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