A wounded ex-serviceman, who is supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme, has won a Gold and Bronze medal in his International debut at the Para world-ranking archery tournament in Almere, Holland.
Former Lance Corporal, Mikey Hall made a very strong start to his International archery career as part of the Open Compound* Men’s Team competition alongside GB team mates John Stubbs, and Nathan MacQueen. The GB team saw off Russia's challenge 225-221 to take the Bronze medal.
In the Individual competition, which took place on Friday, Mikey went two better when winning the Gold medal in the Open Compound Men’s category, with a two point win over Italy’s Matteo Bonacina – a significant achievement at his first International competition representing Great Britain.
Mikey (39), was left paralysed from the chest down after an accident on an Army assault course, breaking his neck and back in numerous places. Sport has played a vital role in Mikey’s recovery, particularly archery, for which he was already a qualified coach. He now uses a compound bow, a shorter bow, ideal for target shooting and easier to use when in a wheelchair.
Last year, he was selected to spend ten days in Sochi as part of the British Paralympic Association’s Paralympic Inspiration Programme, supported by Help for Heroes. Mikey was talent spotted for archery and pistol shooting after taking part in a skills test event at the Help for Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
Prior to discovering his love of archery, Mikey cycled from Edinburgh to London in May 2013, completing the 445 miles on a handbike. He has also learned how to swim using just his upper body and has competed in three half Ironman competitions.
Martin Colclough, Head of Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery said: “We’re extremely proud of Mikey and his result at his first International archery tournament. To win medals at your first major competition representing GB is a fantastic achievement, and shows just how far he has come. It’s been great to see Mikey’s confidence grow since taking up the sport. Mikey is just one example of what wounded, injured and sick service men and women can do post injury, by using the power of adaptive sport throughout their recovery.”
The support provided to Mikey forms part of the Help for Heroes’ partnership with the British Paralympic Association & Archery GB to introduce military personnel to Paralympic Sport.
*Open Compound Men – An individual in this class typically has strong activity limitation in their trunk and legs and compete in a wheelchair. Their arms however, show normal function.
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have put on 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.
Mikey regularly visits Help for Heroes’ Phoenix House Recovery Centre, to take advantage of a range of services and support.
Anyone that is wounded, injured or sick military personnel or veterans in the area who are in need of support from the Help for Heroes’ Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick can call (01748) 834148.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme, follow @H4H_SR on Twitter.