SERVICEMEN who have been injured in the line of duty are being given a unique opportunity to get their lives back on track through powerboating.
Mission Motorsport, which began as part of Help for Heroes, was made a charity in its own right on March 1 this year.
It gives injured servicemen, as well as veterans, the chance to go out on the water as part of their rehabilitation.
The experience days are held in either Gosport or Warsash, with the first one taking place at Haslar Marina.
Mark Neale, 34, from Haven Road in Hayling Island, has recently left the Army. He suffered head injuries during training and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
He said taking part in powerboating was a good experience.
‘It was brilliant,’ he said. ‘It’s hard work but it would be good to build up your core stability.
‘It helps with confidence and getting out and about and for people with post traumatic stress disorder it’s the adrenaline rush. It pushes you to another level.
‘It’s a brilliant idea to challenge yourself and then there’s team building. It puts you in touch with the team.
‘It gives you something to do as an outlet.’
Trooper Will Maddern, 20, from Bournemouth, was badly injured in Afghanistan, breaking both legs and injuring his right arm.
‘It was good fun. It kind of brings back a bit of reality to the lads,’ he said.
‘Just the day-to-day routine is hard to get into – I would do this on a day-to-day basis.
‘It’s the adrenaline rush as well, that’s what we thrive off. So having that just brings you back to a little bit of normality.’
Nigel Hindmarsh runs the powerboat team at Mission Motorsport.
He said: ‘It’s not just the serving guys, it’s the veterans as well.
‘What we have found from other similar schemes that we have run is that giving them the opportunity to do a motor sport like this gives them focus.
‘Most of them are young guys and are pretty active. They enjoy getting out and doing active sports. Things like this builds the confidence again.
‘It gives them focus for their rehabilitation. It tells them that their life isn’t over. We have found that it adds and speeds up their recovery.’
Go to missionmotorsport.org/powerboat