Two wounded servicemen, supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme, have been selected to train full time with the Great British Rowing Squad following successful trials at the weekend.
Lance Corporal Jordan Beecher and former Private Scott Meenagh, both in the Army, have been transferred with immediate effect to begin full time training with the British Rowing Team Development Squad following stand-out performances in the Legs, Trunk and Arms (LTA), and Trunk and Arms (TA) Trials held on Saturday (15th November) at Caversham, British Rowing’s training facility in South Oxfordshire.
Jordan, who now lives in Marlow, was injured by an IED in Afghanistan, which resulted in his leg being amputated. Jordan took part in the Help for Heroes Battle Back Amputee Games in 2013, but it was at a rowing talent ID event following his first admission to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, that he was put in touch with British Rowing and took his first steps in the sport.
Scott, from Cumbernauld in Scotland, was also injured after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2011, he lost both legs above the knee in the explosion. Scott was introduced to the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery programme at Headley Court post injury. After having a go at most sporting activities, Scott tried rowing at a Para-rowing national development camp in September 2012. He was bitten by the bug and in July 2013 he began training full time at the Scottish Rowing Centre and training on the Great Britain development pathway. He has competed in the British Championships and at a home international regatta where he represented Scotland.
A significant step in both of their recovery journeys has been their place on the Front Line to Start Line programme, a partnership between the British Paralympic Association and Help for Heroes, created to introduce military personnel and veterans to opportunities in Paralympic sport. Help for Heroes have also funded competition boats for both Jordan and Scott, in their quest to Rio 2016.
Scott said: “Without Help for Heroes it is unlikely I would have really explored my interest in rowing. The Front Line to Start Line programme has accelerated me quickly from amateur to elite sport. Help for Heroes is definitely the strongest foundation in supporting my rehab. I can’t put into words how much I appreciate everything they have done and are still doing for me.”
Both have regularly participated in training and events via the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery Programme, as well as taking part in the recent Invictus Games, in which the British Armed Forces team were trained, supported and selected by Help for Heroes. Scott was Team Captain for the Rowing team and went on to win three gold medals and two silver medals, Jordan went won five gold medals.
Jordan and Scott will now prepare for the next stage of their training and competition, Jordan will take to the water in the Vesta Scullers Head of the River, and then at the British Indoor Championships on 8th February 2015 at the Olympic Velodrome, Stratford.
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery for six years, and in the past year alone have put on 300 events across 50 different sports enabling over 1,800 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme, and to follow Jordan and Scott’s progress, visit www.h4hsportsrecovery.org.uk and follow @H4H_SR on Twitter. To support others like Scott & Jordan text SPORT to 70900 to donate £5. (You will be charged £5 plus your standard network rate.) Mobile Text Telephone helpline - 01494 750 500.