Boost for Phil’s Rio dream

Phil Hogg, who has dreams of competing at the Rio Paralympics
Phil Hogg, who has dreams of competing at the Rio Paralympics

A campaign to help a ‘wonderful’ wheelchair athlete with his dream of competing in the Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, is under way.

Phil Hogg, a world class hand-cycle rider, needs a specialist racing wheelchair so that he is in with a chance of winning a medal in his class at the 2016 Games.

Now his friends and supporters have rallied round with a sponsored ‘fit-a-thon’ at Aldercar Community Language College last Sunday.

In February, Phil, 43, of Western Drive, was identified as a potential Paralympian at a training day in Loughborough, and offered a place on the ‘talent squad’.

He said: “Now I have three coaches and a psychologist and nutritionist! The funding covers coaching, training camps and access to physiotherapists. It’s absolutley fantastic and has brought me on loads.”

However, Phil, of Heanor, must cover the costs of his own training and equipment. He said: “I have borrowed an old racing wheelchair for training. A basic one costs £5,500 to £6,000. The kit makes all the difference. Every little edge you can get over your competitiors makes all the difference.”

Phil was left paralysed from the waist down after a road accident.

More than 90 people took part in the ‘fit-a-thon’ event to help raise funds for Phil.

Pal Phil Coker organised the event and said: “Everyone was inspired and we definitely lifted our games doing what we do best. The amazing effort from everyone pulling together made the event a success. It never fails to amaze me how much can be achieved when people come together in a cause that they believe in.”

The event raised £850 with more sponsorship money to come.

The success comes on top of Phil now being a European champion after competing in his first paratriathlon in Turkey.