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Tuesday 14 June 2016

Injured ex-serviceman Nick Beighton selected to represent ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016

Posted by: Help For Heroes | Categories: General

Injured ex-serviceman, Nick Beighton will represent his country once more following his selection in Para-canoe as part the ParalympicsGB team for this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with support from Help for Heroes.

© Theo Cohen | Help for Heroes

On returning to the UK, Nick was put in an induced coma, followed by the Intensive Care Unit, and then underwent between 20 and 25 operations in a short period.A former Captain in the Army, Nick was injured in 2009 after stepping on an IED while serving in Afghanistan, which resulted in him losing both of his legs.

He quickly started setting himself challenges as part of his recovery such as sitting up in bed, feeding himself, washing himself and getting into a wheelchair. The ‘military mentality kicked in’ and he was constantly looking to his next goal, which quickly became sport-focused.

“Sport was just a perfect fit in a lot of ways and it allowed me to (a) try some new things that I’d never done before and (b) reconnect with the sports I used to love like skiing and climbing”

Nick was supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme during his rehabilitation where he transitioned his skills to rowing.

After being accepted onto the British Rowing programme, and just three years after being injured, he qualified for the London 2012 Paralympics in the mixed scull. Unfortunately he missed out on a medal when finishing in fourth place.

© Theo Cohen | Help for Heroes

Nick says he’s learned a huge amount from London and appreciates the benefits of sport, in all aspects of his life:

“I want to go and win a medal at Rio, of course I do, that’s why we do it, we’re sportsmen, we’re competitive; that’s what we aim to do. But if I don’t, it doesn’t mean it’s been a failure. It’s about me getting out of bed and having a reason to push myself and to enjoy and be proud of what I do”

 In 2013 he completed the Paris to London element of Help for Heroes’ Hero Ride on a hand bike.

After undergoing more surgeries following London 2012, Beighton was forced to take a break from sport but later took up para-canoe, which is set to make its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016.

© Theo Cohen | Help for Heroes

Nick had ensured Great Britain would be represented in the remaining two events in Rio only three weeks ago at this year’s World Championships. He needed to successfully complete the second race before also securing his nomination, which he did at the National Sprint Regatta at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham  on Saturday 4 June, securing his nomination and subsequent selection.

The support provided to Nick forms part of Help for Heroes’ partnership with British Canoeing, The British Paralympic Association and UK Sport to introduce military personnel to Paralympic Sport.