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State-of-the-art new facilities at Tedworth House
NEW facilities for wounded soldiers recovering at Tedworth House in Tidworth were unveiled yesterday.
The Andy Griffiths Skiplex ski simulator and Jimi’s Wing accommodation and education facilities were officially opened and the charity behind the centre, Help for Heroes, also announced a partnership with the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and outlined their plans to support the wounded from now to the Rio Olympics in 2016 and beyond.
Martin Colclough, Head of Sports Recovery at Help for Heroes, said: “We have seen sport at its very best during the Paralympic Games in 2012 and have witnessed first-hand how this has changed public perceptions about disability.
“Sport is a key part of the recovery process for our wounded; it enables an individual to focus on what they can achieve, rather than what they can’t.
“Military athletes have described the transformational power of sport and being key to the process of post-traumatic growth; it is a phenomenon some experience and is a turning point that enables someone to have a completely new outlook on life.”
On hand to celebrate the opening were Paralympic sports stars and TV’s Ross Kemp.
Help for Heroes has been involved in sport in recovery since 2008 when it was the founder partner of the MoD’s Battle Back programme, which it continues to fund today.
The charity works with various partner organisations, including the British Paralympic Association, to provide adaptive sports and adventurous training at every level.
The Skiplex, named in memory of Captain Andy Griffiths who died in the UK from his wounds sustained in Afghanistan 2010 and was a huge snowboarding enthusiast, is an indoor ski simulator with a continually revolving ski slope and adjustable gradient that replicates a real piste.
And the Help for Heroes Phoenix Centre will provide adaptive exercise facilities including a SwimEx strength and conditioning gym and team sports gymnasium.
Jimi’s Wing – a new accommodation block of 34 rooms, including four family rooms, art, breakout and games rooms and four new classrooms. Jimi’s Wing, which was opened by his widow Julie, is named in memory of Jimi Heselden of Hesco Bastion, who manufactured the Concertainers that protect the bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr Heselden was also well known for his charity work, donating £3.5million to Help for Heroes before his death in 2010.