Wounded ex-servicemen, who are supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme, enjoyed success at the British Para-Powerlifting Championships at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry at the weekend (Sunday 28th June).
Former Staff Sergeant, Micky Yule (from Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland) who served with the Royal Engineers, lost both of his legs above the knee when he stepped on an IED in Helmand Province. Micky lifted 191kg to take second place in the Light Men’s category, behind current IPC World Champion Ali Jawad, who lifted 195kg.
Former Corporal, Ross Austen (from Ashford, Kent) who also served with the Royal Engineers, lost his left leg above knee, and sustained nerve damage to his right foot and leg when he was injured by an IED on patrol clearing a compound in Afghanistan in November 2008. Ross lifted 130kg to take Gold in the Heavy Men's category.
Corporal Richard Webb (from Andover, Hampshire) serves with the King's Royal Hussars, and was injured in Afghanistan in 2012 when stepping on an IED sustaining multiple injuries including a broken left hip, twisted pelvis and spine and severe neurological damage to his left leg from the waist down. Richard lifted 93kg, a new Personal Best, securing eighth place in a very competitive Heavy Men's category.
Micky was a part of the Army powerlifting team pre-injury, and has used the sport as a huge part of his rehabilitation and recovery, culminating in a fourth place at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the Invictus Games last year.
Ross and Richard were recently discovered through British Weight Lifting and Help for Heroes’ joint Pathway2Podium initiative, to uncover and introduce military personnel to Para-Powerlifting.
Martin Colclough, Head of Sports Recovery at Help for Heroes added: “This is a really solid result for all athletes, Micky now heads to the Para-Powerlifting Asian Open Championships at the end of the month on his quest for Rio qualification. Richard and Ross both impressed everyone with their professional attitude and determination at the competition. After only a short time training specifically for this competition, we’re looking forward to future competitions and continuing to support them on their journey. Working closely with British Weight Lifting, we are finding more and more military personnel have very strong attributes to take powerlifting forward, we’re very excited for the future – whilst these athletes inspire other wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women that anything is possible post injury.”
In order to allow athletes with a range of bodyweights and disabilities to compete fairly, placings were calculated with an adjustment for bodyweight, meaning the heaviest weight lifted was not always the winning result.
For the second year running, the British Championships combined both weightlifting and para-powerlifting disciplines; the two day event attracted a record number of entries with more than 115 athletes competing across 22 weight categories.
Click here for the full results from the 2015 British Para-Powerlifting Championships.
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.