Amputee paraclimber to star in inspirational film

Paraclimber Martin Heald, 25, from Preston

Paraclimber Martin Heald, 25, from Preston

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A PARACLIMBER, who took up sport after losing one of his legs to cancer nine years ago, is to star in the Lancashire Sport Partnership (LSP) video to raise awareness of inclusive sports across the county.

Preston-born Martin Heald, 25, and LSP are aiming to help 55,000 people across the county to be active by 2017.

They are set to release a disability awareness video at the end of October to encourage sports clubs to become more inclusive. The video will feature climbing, wheelchair basketball and football.

Martin will star in the video and works as a project support officer for Lancashire Sport Partnership.

He also plays football for Great Britain and has represented the country in climbing and now hopes the video will show other disabled people the variety of sporting options at their disposal as well as encouraging clubs to welcome sport enthusiasts of all abilities.

Martin said: “I was never a sporty person but after losing my leg I had to find an opportunity to get out of the house. I came across a small amputee football league in Preston and decided to give it ago. It was quite a challenge at first but with some persistence it soon became enjoyable and I secured a place on the Great Britain amputee team.”

A few years ago Martin decided to try climbing and has since represented Great Britain in the sport.

“My first climbing lesson was at a club in Preston and it was a steep learning curve for me and for the instructor who had never worked with an amputee before.

“Inclusivity is more about sports clubs’ willingness to try and find what works rather than making major changes to the facilities.”

Find out how to take part at www.lancashiresport.org.uk