Ex-Scots Guard amputee takes on cycle challenge to raise funds for 65 Degrees NorthPublished Thursday, 29th June 2023
Former Scots Guard Colour Sergeant Will Atkinson-Browning is embarking on the gruelling Pan Celtic Ultra Series to help raise money for three causes including 65 Degrees North.
Will, 49, will take on the cycling challenge from St Malo in France to Llandudno in north Wales, a 1,425-mile race which includes 3.5 Everests in ascent - all in 10 days.
The challenge is all the more impressive for Will, who lost his left arm to illness in 2016, and he will be the first amputee to attempt the Pan Celtic race.
He suffered Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and was forced to have his left arm amputated. Subsequently he was medically discharged from the army in 2018 ending nearly 25-years service.
Will is no stranger to cycling challenges have taken part in the Race Across America - a 3,000-mile coast-to-coast race from California to Maryland.
Unfortunately, Will was forced to quit that race after crashing out after only 10 miles suffering a displaced hip, four broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken collar bone and bursitis in the shoulder.
“I crashed at 30mph and I’m sure the quality of the helmet I was wearing saved my life,” he admitted.
But Will has got back on the bike and is determined to complete the upcoming challenge, especially as he is keen to raise funds for three organisations - 65DN, Blesma - the limbless veterans charity, and the Neurodiverse Community Catterick, who have assisted him and his wife Dianne since their nine-year-old son Harry was diagnosed with autism and ADHD.
“What I’m doing is a massive undertaking and is self-supported which means that I won’t have a support vehicle and it will mean sleeping rough anywhere I can find - it’s not a case of booking into 5-star hotels every night,” he explained.
“It is just the sort of challenge that I think fits into the 65 Degrees North’s ethos. They provide incredible opportunities for wounded, injured and sick service personnel to embark upon expeditions which thoroughly challenge them and push them to their boundaries.”
Added Will, who hails from Scotland but lives in Richmond in north Yorkshire: “It will be a huge challenge but one I’m determined to conquer. It will push me and takes me out of my comfort zone.”
Will has special connections which attach his prosthetic to the handlebar and he has the benefit of an electronic gear system on the bike.
If you would like to donate to Will's JustGiving Page the link is: www.justgiving.com/page/william-browning-1687699157345