A British Army veteran and amputee is taking on the challenge of completing a marathon in his rugby wheelchair.
On December 13, 2020, Craig Styles will be covering 27.2 miles around a local track to raise money for two military charities: Help For Heroes and BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Serviceman’s Association).
While in lockdown, Craig has been able to take part in virtual fitness sessions, as part of the Invictus Games training. He wanted something to focus on so created this challenge. He said:
"I needed something to focus my mind on, not just work, for my mental health ... I thought I’d set myself a challenge of 27.2 miles pushing in my rugby wheelchair."
He had originally planned to complete 26.2 miles, the standard amount for a marathon, but a fellow ex-army supporter in America said if Craig did 27.2 miles he would donate an extra $50.
For Craig, this challenge is a way to give back to BLESMA and Help 4 Heroes, because of the support he received from them after being injured in 2002. He said:
"Two charities that are close to my heart. BLESMA who continually support me now, back from 2002 when I had my first injury, and Help 4 Heroes for them basically getting me back into sport via the Invictus Games."
His fundraising target is £5,000 and if he succeeds in hitting that goal he also plans to donate some money to the Northampton Saints Wheelchair Rugby team. He has been a member of the team since it was set up three years ago.
So far his fundraising page has reached nearly £2,000 and donations can be made here.