Allander Rotary Club supports paralympian Martin McElhattan in plea for spinal injury patients

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A Paralympian is making an appeal through Allander Rotary Club in Bearsden for funding to support spinal injury patients at a Glasgow hospital.

Martin McElhattan, who represented Great Britain in wheelchair basketball in the 1984 Paralympic Games, is now the chief executive of Wheelpower, the charity for wheelchair sport in the UK.

Rotary club president Vincent Cuddihy said: “Allander Rotary recently had a very enlightening and enjoyable talk from Martin.

“He described to members and guests the accident that changed his life at the age of 18 and his hopes to bring Wheelpower support to spinal injury patients in Scotland.

“He is seeking support for the Scottish Spinal Injury Unit located at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital which treats around 100 patients annually in its 48 beds.

“Patients spend an average of six months in the unit which also supports 
outpatients. WheelPower is seeking to fund a support worker for the next three years at the Queen Elizabeth spinal unit, at a cost of about £10,000 per year.

“They will give peer support, run activities, provide information aiming to give patients a renewed purpose in life, transforming lives through sport.

“They would also support getting a team from Glasgow to the annual games held every April at Stoke Mandeville.”

He added: “Scottish Paralympian athlete Sammi Kinghorn, who will be the guest speaker at Allander Rotary’s 2019 Sports Dinner, was introduced to her sport through Wheelpower, so it’s clear that while the organisation promotes involvement in sport as a key part of the rehabilitation process, it also nurtures elite athletes.”

Wheelpower is celebrating its 70th year supporting the rehabilitation of spinal injury victims and encouraging them to get active.

Anyone who wishes to contribute to the appeal should contact Allander Rotary.