AN INSPIRATIONAL veteran who is due to take part in the Commonwealth Games despite losing both his legs has been encouraging North-East and North Yorkshire veterans and personnel to get into power-lifting.
Phoenix House recovery centre in Catterick Garrison has today (Wednesday, June 18) hosted an event with Great British Weight-Lifting coaches and athlete Micky Yule to show injured, wounded or sick veterans and service personnel that they can still excel at sport.
Hilary Conway, support programme and training co-ordinator, said the aim of the event was to inspire Phoenix House users, and for GB Weight-Lifting to spot new talent.
“We have got representatives from the GB team as well as Micky Yule who will be running some training sessions, going through the techniques needed and then giving six men from Phoenix House the chance to have a go.
“Although it is the weight-lifting team here today, they will be doing power-lifting – the difference being that weight-lifting is done from a standing position so guys with no legs can’t do that; power-lifting is done from a lying down position.
“The coaches will be looking out for talent, as well as just giving them a feel for the sport and to see if it is something they want to get involved in.”
Mr Yule, who lost his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010 when serving with the Royal Engineers, did not think he would be able to lift weights again – something he enjoyed before his injury.
He said: “I only started power-lifting in November last year and now I am preparing to compete at Glasgow Commonwealth Games this summer.
“I normally train at Leeds or Loughborough so it was good to come here and use the excellent facilities at Phoenix House for the first time.”
Mr Yule, originally from Musselburgh, said: “This event has been great, both for the guys to see what they can achieve by getting back into sport, and for British Weight Lifting to see the talent here.
“I think I can relate to the guys at Phoenix House because I have experienced what they are going through. Sport has been so important to my recovery and I want to show others what can still be achieved.
“It will be good to build the relationship and come here more often because we may have been missing a lot of potential athletes.”