A wounded ex-serviceman and woman, who have been supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme, have been selected to compete for Great Britain at the World Paracanoe Championships in Milan (19-23 Aug 2015).
Selection, approved by the International Panel, follows success for Nick Beighton and Nikki Paterson at last weekend’s National and Open Championships Regatta, at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham. The event incorporated the Senior, Under 23, Junior and Paracanoe world selection trials.
Nick, 33, who only starting paddling in January using sport as part of his recovery, went on to win both men’s KL1/2 200m races on Saturday and will compete in the KL2 in Milan.
“It’s been a really positive weekend,” he said. “Training has been good and it’s a really professional set up here, with all the support staff, physios, S&C coaches. They are all excellent; it’s the whole package.”
Former Captain, Nick Beighton who served with the British Army, was injured in 2009 after stepping on an IED while serving in Afghanistan which resulted in him losing both of his legs. Nick went on to compete in the London 2012 Paralympics in his chosen sport of Rowing, following support from Help for Heroes. Nick also completed the Paris to London element of Help for Heroes’ Hero Ride on a hand bike in 2013.
Former Craftsman, Nikki Paterson has only been canoeing for 18 months after attending a talent ID day through Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme which led to her joining the British Paracanoeing programme when she began producing talent times.
Nikki said: “As far as selection goes and how I wanted myself to race it went really well. To be a second and a half behind the world champion; it shows we must be doing something right."
“The Worlds will be my international debut. You don’t get much bigger than that apart from a Paralympics, so having a national debut at the Worlds will be amazing.”
Nikki served nine years with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), and was injured in 2010 in a road traffic accident which subsequently led to the amputation of her right leg.
Martin Colclough, Head of Help for Heroes Sports Recovery said: “We’re extremely proud that Nick and Nikki have been selected for the World Championships. Getting involved in sport can help rebuild confidence and both are fantastic examples of what wounded, injured and sick service men and women can do post injury, by using the power of adaptive sport throughout their recovery.”
Paracanoe will make its debut at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.
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.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme follow @H4H_SR on Twitter.