Moun­tain biker takes on wheel­chair rugby

Eastern Reporter - - Front Page - Kristie Lim

FOR­MER mas­ters cham­pion moun­tain biker Adrian Walsh, of Bayswa­ter, is gain­ing strength through a do­nated spe­cialised gym and wheel­chair rugby af­ter he suf­fered a cat­a­strophic crash last year.

The 42-year-old dual na­tional mas­ters gold medal­list was rid­ing with his friends on June 18, 2017, when he was in­volved in a crash re­sult­ing in a c5 in­com­plete quad­ri­plegic spinal in­jury.

The father-of-three has no func­tion from the chest down and limited hand move­ment.

Bendigo Com­mu­nity Bank Bayswa­ter and No­randa branches funded a home gym for him, which was mod­i­fied by Tech­nol­ogy As­sist­ing Dis­abil­ity WA (TADWA) in Bassendean ear­lier this year.

Mr Walsh thanked them for their sup­port as he worked to­wards his goal to help his wife more with day-to-day tasks.

“One day I’d like to be able to pre­pare a meal,” he said.

“The more strength I get will al­low me to do nor­mal day-to-day tasks and just be able to hope­fully get my li­cence back soon, take the load off my wife and drive the kids around.

“Hope­fully I’ll start do­ing some lessons soon; I’d like to think I could drive within a year but I just have to wait and see.

“The right arm has just got to get a bit stronger be­cause I plan on trans­fer­ring into the car and break­ing the chair down.”

Af­ter be­ing an elite moun­tain biker for more than 20 years, he sought ad­vice from Re­bound WA in find­ing an­other sport to keep fit and ac­tive.

“I would like to play wheel­chair bas­ket­ball but I don’t have the hand func­tions and I can’t do that,” he said.

“We spoke about the lay­down bik­ing so I tried one of those but it did not feel right. I just went down one Wed­nes­day and tried the rugby and it was fun and they are a nice, good group of peo­ple.

“It just clicked and I think that is what I’d like to try and pur­sue.”

He will be test­ing vir­tual re­al­ity with TADWA staff next month in a bid to gain some func­tion back on both the right and left sides of his body.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Adrian Walsh has taken up wheel­chair rugby for his next sport­ing en­deav­our.

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