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BEN'S STORY

 

Ben's journey in sport began at the tender age of six with rugby. By 16, he was a promising player at Ealing Trailfinders Academy, and by 19, he had progressed to the men’s team. The camaraderie and purpose sport provided were integral to his life.

 

However, in 2018, his aspirations were shattered during a rugby match. The injury led to multiple complications, including deep bone infections and compartment syndrome, which severely impacted his muscle tissue. Despite thirteen surgeries and intensive rehabilitation, the complications persisted, leaving him with debilitating pain and restricted mobility.

Faced with unending pain and the loss of his sporting identity, Ben made the heart-wrenching decision to undergo a below-knee amputation in 2019. His resilience shone through as he took to sprinting and was soon training as a T64 category sprinter at Loughborough University, with aspirations for the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

However, his athletic journey was marred by nerve pain and recurrent injuries, culminating in a significant setback in 2022 that derailed his Paralympic dreams.

 

 

 

At a crucial turning point, Ben met Holly King, a physiotherapist who recognised his profound love for white-water kayaking. With her encouragement, Ben explored kayaking as a rehabilitative and competitive sport. This non-impact sport allowed him to train while managing his condition.

 

In January 2023, Ben underwent nerve surgery, which was followed by intense physiotherapy and adaptations to his prosthetic limb to address ongoing pain issues. Despite the challenges, his determination led him to another surgery in February 2024, fuelled by a relentless pursuit of recovery and adaptation.

 

Through the Stride Forward mentorship programme, Ben found new meaning and direction. He now aspires to break barriers in white-water kayaking as an amputee, aiming to inspire and pave the way for others with disabilities to engage in sport. His story is one of profound resilience and a testament to the human spirit’s capacity to adapt and thrive against the odds.

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