18 October 2013, 11:07am
As part of a British Weight Lifting training camp held at one of the Help for Heroes run Recovery Centres, Tedworth House, several service personnel and GB Paralympic Powerlifters visited Bath Rugby's training ground to meet the first team and train in a different performance environment.
The visit was part of Bath Rugby's on-going partnership with Help for Heroes which started in May 2012.
It also highlights the relationship with British Weight Lifting that came about under the H4H and British Paralympic Association's jointly run programme, 'Front Line to Start Line.' This initiative helps to identify wounded or injured military personnel who are excelling in sport and have the potential to reach elite level.
This is the third performance camp that British Weight Lifting has held at Tedworth House this year. Some of the soldiers taking part are already in the GB squad, whilst others are hoping to make their Paralympic dreams a reality in the coming years.
Sgt Micky Yule of the Royal Engineers, one of the wounded soldiers who visited Bath Rugby, said: "It's really inspirational to watch the Bath Rugby team training out on the pitch and it's great for us to get some work done in their gym too. They have a very similar attitude to training as we do so I think we feed off each other's drive and energy."
Stuart Hooper, Bath Rugby captain, added: "It's inspiring to see the ambition and determination the wounded soldiers have. As individual players and as a squad on the whole, there is a huge amount we can learn from them, and have already learnt over the course of their visits. I know they will do all they can to achieve their individual goals, and hope to see them in action for Team GB come the next Paralympics."
Tom Whittaker, Paralympic Performance Manager at British Weight Lifting, said: "The drive, determination and focus required to succeed in powerlifting is shared by many in our armed forces, as well as other elite sports. Some of our athletes are lifting 3-4 times their own bodyweight, so I hope it's inspiring for everyone to see them in action, just as it's inspiring for us to meet and train with elite rugby players."
For more information visit helpforheroes.org.uk.