ATHLETICS: High-tech university performance lab helping inspirational Paralympic hopeful Andy Lewis
2:38pm Monday 17th February 2014 in Sport
ANDY LEWIS – or Bladerunner Andy as he is known on Twitter – is receiving help from the University of Gloucestershire in his bid to reach Rio 2016.
Andy, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident at the age of 16 when a lorry knocked him off his motorbike resulting in his right leg being amputated from the knee.
At the time, Andy had represented Gloucestershire in cross country events across the UK.
“After waking up on a hospital bed, the reality of exactly what had just happened to me set in," said Andy. "I thought both my life and career was over.
“The next couple of months following the incident were not easy. I didn’t lose my leg straight away, however in December, 2005 I made the difficult decision to have my leg amputated due to the amount of problems it was causing me.”
Watching the London 2012 Paralympics, reignited the flame in Andy's heart to get running again. His prosthetic leg would not allow him to do this, so he started to research a 'blade' running leg which has kindly been funded by his employer, Airbus UK, along with family and friends.
Andy said: “Since getting this leg my life has changed dramatically and I have competed and won many events for my age and category.
"I am now training to join the paratriathlon team and have managed to gain entry to the Elite Championships in March at Corby.”
He recently enlisted the support of Matt Cole and the team at the University of Gloucestershire’s high-tech performance lab which is based at the Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester.
The University will be helping support and guide Andy using the latest scientific equipment and research techniques.
Cole said: “Andy has already demonstrated incredible determination and his achievements to date are truly inspirational.
"We’re hopeful that with the support of the Performance Lab, Andy can continue to develop as an athlete and wish him every success in achieving his goals.”
Follow Andy’s progress on his Twitter feed @Bladerunnerandy.