One of our greatest reflections was that we (British Rowing) are slightly behind on chair development and strapping regulations compared to other nations on the world’s stage and that my core strength is very behind that of my international counterparts. So unlike many of my peers, I decided to cut my post Paralympics break short and get back into the gym to focus on developing whatever core I still have access too along with starting the process of altering my boat set up and getting the job spec out there for a seat development engineer to come on board and help us get back level with the playing field / preferably back ahead.
This process saw us contacting various engineering firms, formula one teams and other motor sport teams to see what they did for their seat designs / rapid prototyping.
During one of the Autumn International matches at the Principality Stadium, I ended up sitting next to Aaron Morgan (@aaron_morgan_racing) a fellow spinal cord injury recipient but more importantly a very good racing driver for Team Brit. We got chatting and he mentioned that his team may have the ability to point us in the right direction and the relationship was born.
Team Brit are a fully inclusive race team with the aim to become the first ever all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race! More info can be found (https://teambrit.co.uk/) Now whilst we established a great relationship, it actually transpired that they use the same seating engineer that we at British Rowing are currently using so that avenue has been closed. However, that did not stop the team inviting me and the members of the Para Squad down to Dunsfold Park to try our hands at their racing simulator and even let us loose on the track in one of their racing BMWs!!!
Now as a child Top Gear was one of my favorite programs and the infamous track is where Team Brit are based, so I cannot believe that I can now say that I have driven around the Top Gear Track with hand controls!!!! A dream come true!
I cannot thank the team enough for making us feel welcome and I look forward to seeing where this may take me in the future but for now I will stick to racing GT7 online and hone my skills there!
Photos provided by Ryan Cox (https://www.ryancoxphotography.com/)