Paracanoe athlete Nick Beighton, who is part of the Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Academy, is one of six British athletes that secured nomination for ParalympicsGB at the National Sprint Regatta at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham this weekend (Sat 4 June).
©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. He clocked a time of 44.84 seconds and 44.48 seconds in his respective races in Nottingham, securing his nomination.
Speaking at the presentations, Steve Harris, Paracanoe Programme Manager said: “I am pleased we have now completed our selection races at our National Championships. Once our nominations are confirmed by the BPA in around ten days-time we will start afresh on our final phase of preparations."
The support provided to Nick forms part of the Help for Heroes’ partnership with British Canoeing and the British Paralympic Association to introduce military personnel and veterans to Paralympic Sport.
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. 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 he qualified for the London 2012 Paralympics in the mixed scull, unfortunately missing out on a medal when finishing in fourth place. 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 paracanoeing, which is set to make its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016.
©Theo Cohen/Help for Heroes
Nick said following this weekend’s regatta: “The last couple of years have been a joy. I have really savoured the paddling and the squad environment and being part of something bigger. It is about racing and putting yourself out there and taking pride in what other people are achieving also. It is a really constructive environment and we are all helping each other to achieve what we want, which ultimately is a medal in Rio.”
Great Britain is one of only two countries, along with Australia, to have qualified quota places in all six Paralympic Paracanoe events, and it will mark a proud moment for this ambitious performance programme when the sport makes its debut at Rio 2016.
Nominations to the British Paralympic Association:
Anne Dickins - K1 200m KL3 Emma Wiggs - K1 200m KL2 Jeanette Chippington - K1 200m KL1 Robert Oliver - K1 200m KL3Nicholas Beighton - K1 200m KL2 Ian Marsden - K1 200m KL1
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and put on events across 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 each year.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme, follow @H4H_SR on Twitter.