War vet­eran’s high hopes for Ever­est

Dis­abled man’s bid to scale moun­tain for char­ity

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Natalie Tip­ping ntip­ping@thek­m­group.co.uk @ntip­pingKM

A dis­abled war vet­eran is set to climb part of the world’s high­est moun­tain for char­ity.

Former Gurkha Anil Gu­rung was posted to Afghanistan with the Bri­tish Army in 2009. Twenty days be­fore the end of his tour, he stepped on an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice (IED) and lost his right leg be­low the knee.

He won gold for Great Bri­tain in sit­ting vol­ley­ball at the In­vic­tus Games in London in 2014, beat­ing USA 3-0 in the fi­nal. He re­turned to the games last year in Or­lando, achiev­ing a sil­ver medal.

The 29-year-old now works at mil­i­tary and dis­abil­ity char­ity Royal Bri­tish Le­gion In­dus­tries (RBLI) in Ayles­ford, and has set his sights on a new chal­lenge.

He has de­cided to climb to base camp at Mount Ever­est, reach­ing a height of 18,000ft.

He said: “It will be a chal­lenge for me both phys­i­cally and men­tally. I am try­ing to build my mus­cles back up after tak­ing time out after the In­vic­tus Games and have been trekking across Kent and more re­cently in Snow­do­nia.

“Royal Bri­tish Le­gion In­dus­tries has been in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive of me, and has been help­ing me ev­ery step of the way. I owe a lot to the RBLI, not only for help­ing me to sta­bilise my life after leav­ing the ser­vice, but also for en­cour­ag­ing me to take on these chal­lenges and help­ing me to prove to my­self I can do them, so it’s very re­ward­ing to know I’m giv­ing some­thing back.”

Steve Sherry OBE, RBLI’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “Anil’s ded­i­ca­tion to go above and be­yond is a tes­ta­ment to his char­ac­ter.

“The money he raises will go di­rectly to help­ing vet­er­ans and in­di­vid­u­als with health con­di­tions and dis­abil­i­ties re­ceive the sup­port they need to find sus­tained em­ploy­ment and get their lives back on track.

“We’re im­mensely proud of Anil and wish him the very best of luck in his chal­lenge.”

To do­nate, go to tinyurl.com/ Gu­rungKM

Former Gurkha Anil Gu­rung

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