See the Difference / Stories / Rob Bugden

Rob Bugden

Cpl Rob Bugden, 34, joined the RAF in September 2008 as a Physical Training Instructor and was posted to St Athan in 2012. Three years later, he qualified as a Parachute Jumping Instructor. He was left paralysed after he plummeted more than 800ft to the ground when his parachute got tangled with another jumper after a terrifying mid-air collision on 21 January 2016. “I entered the RAF as a sportsman and taking part in the Invictus Games means I would be leaving as one still.


Despite injury, I can still compete be active and importantly still be the same person I’ve always been which is vital for my mental recovery. Physically, it is a fantastic conduit for pushing my body and trying to achieve something special. It gives a real target and something to aim for, focus on and gives me a sporting purpose which is something I have always had.” In the future, Rob hopes to open up a gym specifically aimed at people with disabilities, continue with his public speaking and hopefully, teach at a further education college.