August 23, 2017

Outstanding volunteer Mark wins PM’s award

For the past 18 years Mark Pattenden has been tackling the toughest challenges to raise charity cash. Now the work of the 54-year-old, who is hoping to eventually represent Britain at the Paralympics, had been recognised with the Prime Minister's daily Point of Light Award.

The award, which goes to outstanding and innovative individual volunteers, was presented to Mark by Archery GB's Chief Executive Neil Armitage.

Mark's voluntary work began after he lost his lower left leg in a workplace accident. The shock also left him with PTSD and cost him much of his hearing.

One way of fighting back was to set himself challenges to help others. These have included jumping out of aeroplanes, marathons, driving a Land Rover to 14 capitals in 14 days and leading a team to Everest base camp. Last year he set a world record - and raised £7,000 - by becoming the first amputee to run the Great Wall of China marathon for charity.

Mark who is pictured with Neil and Archery GB national coach Gaynor Hutchinson, also became one of 300 disabled gym instructors through a Sport England funded programme. It led to him becoming a personal trainer with disability specific qualifications and an athletics coaching qualification. He now volunteers with a squad of six athletes including Vanessa Wallace who finished fifth in the recent Para World Championships.

It was during the course that he became aware of the Discover your Gold EIS programme. He was invited for trials with Archery GB - and was hooked.

He said: "I completed various tasks and was invited to classification and the athletes profiling day. A few months later I was invited to an intensive training course with Gaynor Hutchinson. I now train six days per week between three to six hours a day with a coaching session once a week.

"I have a large social media following and I think a lot of people are motivated by what I have achieved so far. I believe that I have what it takes in terms of commitment and drive to focus on my aim to now represent my country at international and Paralympic level as a world-class archer.”

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