OCR Adaptive Athlete, Shaun Gash

24 years ago my life changed, some would say for the worst but for me on reflection for the better. I was involved in a road traffic accident where I was a back seat passenger. The car turned over and threw me out of the back window where I sustained some major injuries, breaking my shoulder; ribs puncturing my lungs and breaking my spine at T5/6 vertebrae leaving me completely paralysed from my chest down and at the time only given 2 days to live. I was 20 and thought my life was over.

I spent 5 1/2 months in Southport Spinal Injuries hospital and a further 3 1/2 years in a rehab home for spinal injuries. But every cloud has a silver lining and I met my best friend, soul mate and wife Dawn, at the rehab home. We have been married for 20 years, have 16-year-old twins; Sharna and Kyle, and an 11-year-old, Niamh.
— Shaun Gash

Have you always been into fitness?

I have always been involved with sport and fitness from my school days where I was captain of the rugby, volleyball, cricket, swimming teams.

Now involved with Coaching Juniors for the Lancaster Bulldogs Wheelchair Basketball Team and also training for Obstacle Course racing, being the first wheelchair adaptive athlete to compete and complete in the first UK Championships 2015.

How did you get involved with the various challenges you’ve completed?

My involvement with Obstacle Course Racing came about with watching my wife complete a course 2 years ago and I thought that I would love to be able to compete in an OCR, never hearing of any wheelchair competitor take part before. I started my journey and completed my first 10km, 30 obstacle Born Survivor course at Lowther Castle.

What are your best and most memorable achievements so far?

Best achievement so far must be completing the UK Championships 2015. Most memorable is defiantly skydiving 15000 ft for charity

What are your ambitions for 2016 and beyond?

  1. Are to qualify for the 2016 UK OCR Championship.
  2. Complete the first World Team OCR Championships in September, London.
  3. Be the first wheelchair athlete to complete the Cataran Yomp June , 54 mile Marine Yomp.
  4. Be the first paraplegic to push up Mount Kilimanjaro 15 August.

Who are your sporting & non-sporting role models?

Sporting role model – Tania Gray Thompson
Non-sporting role model – Bear Grylls

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?

At the age of 15, I canoed the Zambezi River!

What are your top three sport nutrition tips?

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Monitor your sugar and salt intake
  3. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

What are your top three training tips?

  1. Warm up before exercise
  2. Listen to your body
  3. Stretch and cool down at the end

Which Beet It product do you use the most and why?

I mainly uses the Beet It Sports shots as I train six days a week and compete on a regular basis in OCR’s and wheelchair basketball.