Help for Heroes beneficiary gets bronze in World Dragon Boat Championships

Friday 9 June 2017

Glynn Barrell, a beneficiary from the Plymouth Recovery Centre, has won third place in the World Dragon Boat Championships.

Glynn is ex Royal Artillery. He came to Help for Heroes in 2013 after being medically discharged due to an accident where he was crushed by a metal cage during service. This caused head injuries, a concussion and his femur to snap in two places. As a result, and after multiple operations, Glynn had to have his spleen removed and his right leg amputated below the knee.

With the help of his prosthetics and Help for Heroes' Sport Recovery programme, Glynn started engaging with the Plymouth Recovery Centre and, soon enough, sport became a big part of Glynn's recovery journey. "A couple of the guys at the Centre mentioned Dragon Boating and how the Excalibur team were looking for more recruits. After I thought about it for a while, I decided, why the heck not?"

Glynn started to train with the local club in Exeter who, in turn, were looking to put a team together for Hong Kong. After lots of hard work and training sessions, Glynn was selected to compete on the Tri-Service Purple Warriors Team. They were the only UK team to compete.

Comprised of 16 rowers in the boat, plus reserves and crew, the 22 ex-serving members of the UK military team paddled their way to success. Glynn says: "It's been the best thing I've done for myself in a long time. It gave me drive, focus, and a goal to work towards. Not to mention the other great blokes on the team who make it all worthwhile."

Out of 9 teams in the Paradragon Disability category, the team paddled the 13th fastest time in the whole competition - including the Open able-bodied category - to achieve an amazing 3rd place, with just two seats difference from the silver medal.

Out of the 32 teams in the Open able-bodied race, the team made it to the semi-finals and came an outstanding 9th place: "Once again I have to thank H4H for the support they gave me during this endeavour. More than anything, just being there for me and not letting me give up. It's been invaluable."

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