We are delighted to welcome Paul Smith OBE as an ambassador for Team Hybrid.
“During my Royal Navy career, i served in the Falklands and the 1st Gulf war campaign. I also represented the Royal Navy in several different sports, including the ultimate of sporting achievement, the Royal Navy Field Gun Crew at the Royal Tournament.
In September 1991 my career was affected by a Road Traffic Accident. I now live with a brain injury and other physical injuries, which have not prevented me achieving my goals; the road to recovery has been long and still remains difficult, especially for my family.
In 2006 my life took a dramatic turn for the better when I took on my first physical challenge by pushing myself 6 miles in my NHS wheelchair to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust. The fundraising continued with the fantastic support of my wife, Jane and my 3 daughters and a brilliant dedicated support crew.
The challenges took off and by 2015 we had raised funds that surpassed anything we could ever imagine. One of my toughest fundraising challenges (2015) was called “Challenge Gibraltar” whereby I pushed myself up the Rock of Gibraltar in my wheelchair in a world record time of 2h: 14m:01s.
I, along with my fantastic support crew have supported a number of charities that include the Teenage Cancer Trust, Kiya Survivors, GOSH, Centrepoint Youth Homelessness, Save the Children, and 2 local children here in Portsmouth.
Fundraising has always been, and continuous to be a great joy and privilege.
One of the biggest surprises of my life came when in November 2015 I received notice from the Cabinet Office informing me that I was to be honoured in the 2016 New Year Honours list by Her Majesty The Queen for services to charity.
This left me feeling deeply humbled and proud that a member of the public thought I deserved such an award knowing that I have never taken on my charity work for any kind of reward other than to see other people/children have a chance in life just as I did when I was adopted.
I am currently an assistant athletics coach with UKA and the lead “Racing Wheelchair” coach at the City of Portsmouth Athletics Club (COPAC) I am also coaching strength and conditioning for all athletes at the club.
To be an ambassador for Team Hybrid is a great honour. I am absolutely delighted that Mark and Team Hybrid have agreed to support Wheelchair Racing at the City of Portsmouth AC by supplying me with a Cougar Power Assisted Clip On Handcycle.
The use of the Cougar will enable me to ride alongside my athletes and push them to their limits and beyond. One of these athletes (17 year old Craig Boardman) is already showing huge potential as a Paralympian and will be representing Team GB in the Junior World Championships in Nottwil (Switzerland) in August 2017.
I look forward to working with Team Hybrid over the next two years”.