Gold medals at Spinal Games won by Grantham disabled biker
A 26-year-old paralysed in a motorbike accident only last June has won two golds and a silver at Stoke Mandeville’s Inter Spinal Unit Games.
Dan Metcalfe-Hall of Gloucester Road, Grantham, returned from the Inter Spinal Unit Games with gold medals in archery and fencing, and a silver in tennis.
Even more astounding is the fact that he had never tried disabled fencing before the competition. “I think it’s because I did kick-boxing before my accident, so I have a quick reaction speeds,” said Dan.
Organised by national charity WheelPower, the Inter Spinal Unit Games has long been the flagship event for the recently injured.
After surviving a motorbike crash on the A151 at Edenham, Dan spent three months in rehabilitation at Sheffield’s Princess Royal Spinal Unit.
He joined Sheffield teammates to compete in the four day event which sees 12 spinal injury centres from across the UK and Ireland compete. Together the Sheffield team celebrated a third place finish.
While displaying his prowess in various sports, the Grantham biker is particularly taken with handcycling, and is well on his way to reaching the highest level by training with world number three Kenny Harriot.
“Handcycling keeps you fit and keeps you energised and keeps you motivated. It gets you out of bed. I’m going out of bed to train, have a good laugh with people, and to enjoy the weather,” added Dan.
Recognising his key contribution to the team finishing within the top three, Kerry Wild, occupational therapist at Sheffield’s Princess Royal said: “Dan’s really keen on sport, really motivated and really keen to get involved in more professional sport. Hopefully a future Paralympian coming from Sheffield. He’s got his own handcycle and he trains here at Stoke Mandeville.
“Showing people you can still engage in sport from a wheelchair is really important. It gives them something positive to focus on. It’s about the physical benefits, the exercise, but also the social benefits of meeting people with similar abilities to you that are also getting out in to the world and living life to the full.”