War hero who overcame the odds, up for Royal award

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A veteran from Henlow has been nominated for the Celebrating Excellence Award at the upcoming Endeavour Fund Awards, recognising how he has endeavoured to achieve excellence in his chosen sport or adventurous challenge.

The Endeavour Fund Awards are held annually to celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges to help with their recovery and rehabilitation.

Michael Swain will be joined by Prince Harry and Ms. Markle who will be meeting the inspiring nominees as well as other endeavour participants and supporters of the Endeavour Fund.

Michael served in Afghanistan where he sustained life-changing injuries from an IED that resulted in the loss of both legs above the knee.

He took up hand-cycling in 2016 and by 2017 had trained with the RAID17 team who were taking part in an incredible expedition cycling across the Pyrenees, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

He was also selected to complete the Race across America as part of an 8-man team covering over 3,000 miles in 6 ½ days. He then finished his year with a strong performance at his first British National Championship where he won two silver medals. Michael is continuing to drive his development and performance in hand cycling and to go one better in the 2018 British National Championships.

Michael said: “2017 was an incredible year with the Ride Across America, the RAID17 training in Portugal and some performances in races that showed me I can compete at a high level. I’m looking forward to a big year of racing in 2018.”

The fund plays an important role in ensuring that more servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. It aims to target those that are hard to reach and to support activities that contribute to the participants’ physical, psychological and social recovery – either through mentorship, qualifications or work opportunities.

Winners are due to be announced tonight (February 1).