As the Olympic torch nears its final destination at the London 2012 Olympic stadium we wanted to celebrate all of the brilliant torch bearers that have links to Back Up.
Our torch bearers covered many of the services that Back Up offers to people with spinal cord injury including mentors, wheelchair skills trainers, volunteer group leaders and fundraisers. Many of them have also benefitted first-hand from rehabilitative courses designed to help inspire and instill confidence in people with spinal cord injuries such as Mike Kerr.
He says, 'In many ways my accident was not the end of my life, it was the beginning. I’m a great believer in the saying, ‘Life is what you make it.’
Mike Kerr became involved with Back Up on a multi-activity course as a participant in 2001 and has gone on to become a key member of the Great British wheelchair rugby squad that are medal contenders at this year’s Paralympic games in London.
The Scot, seen crashing headlong into his opponent as one of the stars of a bone-crunching TV ad for the Paralympic Games, is among several inspirational Paralympians appearing in the gritty commercials for the London Games.
Paralysed after diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool as a teenager, Mike said: ‘I’m loving the ads as they show disabled athletes in their true light.’
‘I’m hoping the adverts’ message will inspire people to tune in and watch the Games and see some of the world’s top athletes in action.’
On carrying the Olympic Torch Mike said, ‘It was the proudest day of my life. I wasn’t expecting it to be so emotional. My family were there and friends from school.’
A huge congratulations from everyone at Back Up to Becky Mason, Tim Rushby-Smith, Martin McNeill, Matt King, Barry West, Georgie Friend, Talan Skeels-Piggins, Ella Beaumont and Dan Edwards for their once-in-a-lifetime achievement.