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Jimmy prepares for his next Grand challenge

Posted in: Community Last updated: 02 Oct 2012

After successfully completing the Great North Run, former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Rugby League player, Jimmy Gittins, is preparing for his next challenge in the shape of the Engage Mutual Race to the Grand Final quadrathon.

A keen rugby league player, Jimmy broke his neck in two places while playing for Sharlston Rovers nine years ago and was told by doctors that he may never walk again. However, not one to shirk a challenge, Jimmy displayed great courage and determination to get to the stage where he is now able to walk with the help of crutches.

Jimmy has since taken part in a number of fundraising activities including his  involvement in this year’s Great North Run which he completed on a custom made hand-bike. Just days after this impressive feat, Jimmy, along with 30 others, including former St Helens, Wakefield and Hull FC fullback Steve Prescott MBE, will take part in the gruelling 48-hour quadrathon to raise money for The Steve Prescott Foundation.

The two day challenge involves swimming the Humber, cycling from Hull to Liverpool, swimming the Mersey, and then running between Liverpool and Runcorn.

The final leg of the challenge will see the group canoe up the Bridgewater canal to Old Trafford in time for the Stobart Super League Grand Final on Saturday 6 October.

Following the injury Jimmy was left paralysed from the neck down with the initial prognosis looking grim. However, thanks to support from the Rugby League (RL) Benevolent Fund, a charity which supports injured rugby players, he is now able to walk.

Jimmy is preparing to repay this support by taking part in the Engage Mutual Race to the Grand Final to raise money for The Steve Prescott Foundation which supports the RL Benevolent Fund.

Speaking of the challenge, Jimmy said:

“There is no doubt that this will be one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced, but I can’t wait to give it a go and raise money for some fantastic causes.

“The RL Benevolent Fund has been brilliant in helping with my recovery, without them I may not even be able to walk let alone take part in this challenge so I owe them a huge amount. I hope the money raised will go towards helping others in a similar position to me.”
Despite his incredible recovery Jimmy still lacks a full range of movement in his arms and legs so will use his hand bike to travel the 18 miles between Liverpool and Runcorn.

Backed by Engage Mutual, the aim of the challenge is to raise over £30,000 for The Steve Prescott Foundation, which was founded to inspire others and raise money for the RL Benevolent Fund and The Christie cancer hospital in Manchester, which has supported Prescott since his diagnosis with cancer in 2006.