I am really pleased to be posting this blog entry to announce some big news about my wheelchair racing! I’m really excited to be able to share that from now until the end of 2017 I’m going to be supporting the charity Right To Play. I’ll be using this partnership to help promote a superb cause as well as to fundraise for them.
Over the last few years I’ve been so lucky to have some phenomenal opportunities with my wheelchair racing, and have got so much from the sport – both in physical terms with some huge achievements I am really proud of, as well as on a personal level, with my racing being the motivation to keep going since I became a permanent wheelchair user.
Having got so much out the sport I want to help others benefit from sport too, and am keen to use my racing to help others less fortunate than me.
This July Right to Play UK were chosen as the official partner charity for the Muller Anniversary Games and through volunteering with them over that period I got to learn much more about their ethos as a charity, as well as meeting members of their staff team. During this time I quickly realised that this was a charity I would love to be able to support more.
Right To Play work with over a million children each week in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, using sport and play to develop new skills, educate and transform the lives of disadvantaged children. They believe that through the power of play children can receive a high quality education, overcome obstacles and see their lives turn around. They train local people to lead these programmes, creating a long-term and sustainable solution for communities facing poverty, disease and conflict.
It’s this ethos which has drawn me to support Right To Play, as it’s something I know to be true. I know that play and sport can transform lives, because I, in my own way, have seen that first hand. Since I became wheelchair bound sport has not only transformed my life but become my main focus, as I found that I could achieve and enjoy myself even with a disability. This same feeling is one that I hope children will benefit from as a result of my support of Right To Play – that through sport and play you can have fun, achieve and give life a purpose.
Over the next year there are a series of exciting plans to promote the work of Right To Play, and that begins today as I announce a big fundraising effort to coincide with some of my last races in 2016. Over the course of 21 days in September and October I’ll be racing all 3 of my favourite distances – 10km, half marathon and marathon. It all begins on Sunday 18th September when I return ‘home’ to Bury to race in the first ever Bury 10k. Just a week later on 25th September I’ll be heading to Bristol for another first ever – this time the first ever Great Bristol Half Marathon. Then on 9th October I’ll be off up to Yorkshire for what will be my 4th Yorkshire Marathon, having competed in the event every year since it began!
To launch my partnership with Right to Play I’d love it if you would consider sponsoring this huge effort! Sponsorship donations can be made at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/chrisrighttoplay which will remain the online base for my partnership with Right to Play over the next year. Any donation you can give would be greatly appreciated, and the sponsorship would mean so much to me as I work towards this huge challenge. On the fundraising page you can see exactly how your money will help Right To Play, and if you’d like to read more about their work you can do so at www.righttoplay.org.uk
Thanks so much in advance for all your support, and I look forward to sharing more with you as a part of Team Right To Play!
As many of you will be aware 2017 didn’t quite go to plan. In late January an infection to my cochlear implant site triggered further medical complications and I spent the next six months in and out of hospital appointments trying to get answers. I still don’t have all the answers and still live with the physical pain this triggered, but I got the OK to start training again. Since then I’ve been hard at work trying to get back to a fitness that would allow me to race again and I’m excited to be able to share that this season I’ll be back! I’m super proud to have extended my support for Right To Play and will once again be racing in my Right to Play branded Viper 10 kit all season and hoping to increase awareness of the fantastic work they do.
I also wanted to have a fundraising focus for this year – and not just any old event – something that even those who’ve previously supported Right To Play would want to dig deep and donate again for, and that’s why I’m proud to announce my BIGGEST RACE EVER. On 8th April this year I’ll be completing 26.2 miles for Right To Play. A marathon as only my 3rd race back a big enough challenge? My first marathon for 18 months big enough? I thought not! And that’s why to make it even bigger I’ll be going over to Paris to complete my first 26.2 mile race on foreign soil (well, roads hopefully!) as I compete in the wheelchair event at the 2018 Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris!!
The month before this I’m also going to be embarking on a big challenge too – completing my first race bigger than the 10km distance for 18 months as I participate in the wheelchair event at the first ever ‘Big Half’ – a half marathon around the streets of London!
So after the toughest year I’ve known it’s safe to say I’m throwing myself back into it to start my season on a high note – 2 courses that are brand new to me, 2 huge distances and one of these being a marathon abroad. I’d love it if you felt able to support these challenges by sponsoring my marathon attempt and donating to Right To Play – you can see more about why I’m so passionate about their work above, and you can donate here.
“Everyone at Right To Play UK is really excited to welcome Chris to the growing group of people who support us by doing amazing challenges, our Team Right To Play. I personally look forward to working with him over the next year and supporting his efforts to fulfill this incredible challenge. Chris is a great role-model to represent the charity and support the work we do.”
My story was featured on the Run For All blog in September 2016. Run For All organise the Bury 10k. See the story here: http://www.runforall.com/blog/2016/09/chris-nash/
My story was featured in the Bury Times in September 2016. See the story here: http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/14749572.Wheelchair_racer_returning_to_hometown_for_Bury_10k/
After the Bury 10k the Bury Times also featured this article with many photos of me: http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/14750223.PICTURES__All_the_action_from_the_Bury_10k_run/
In the run up to the Yorkshire marathon the Bournemouth Echo ran a whole page feature on my racing: http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/14784314.When_they_told_me_I_d_never_walk_again_I_was_devastated___but_disability_doesn_t_define_you/