Mike Kerr is one of the stars of a bone-crunching TV ad for the Paralympic Games and on the 8th June 2012 became an Olympic torch bearer through his hometown of Glasgow. He 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 in the TV advert, 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.
“We have to be fitter and more determined than our able-bodied counterparts as the sports we participate in are every bit as physical and challenging. We need to battle every day just to get by so you can imagine the work and effort we need to put in to become elite athletes. Some people think sport is something that gets disabled people out of the house. They don’t realise that, for us, it is a calling and career.”
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. It’s great to be an ambassador. 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.’”