Incredible Harrogate man who beat disability to set new skiing world record awaits Guinness World Records confirmation
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Will Macpherson, 34, now says he hopes his exciting achievement will help inspire other people living with disabilities or who have suffered injuries.
The incredible Harrogate man was part of the British team earlier this week attempting to ski the furthest ever distance for someone using seated equipment – while raising funds for charity Disability Snowsport UK.
The challenge was the culmination of Will’s long battle to bounce back from the life-changing injuries he suffered in a bicycle accident when he was a teenager.
Will said: “My vertebrae were so compressed in the accident, I was left with no feeling or movement from the chest down.
"But, after about seven months, I began to redevelop signals from my brain but the accident left me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
"It was a very difficult time but ten years ago I discovered Disability Snowsport UK and the thrill of skiing sitting down.
"Skiing has become such a huge part of my life since then and brings me so much joy and freedom. "
The world record bid took place on Monday when Will joined seven other 'sit skiers', as they are called, with the aim of skiing more than 44km in a period of eight hours.
The challenge involved descending a 180m long slope at Chill Factore in Manchester, home to the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK, while seated at all times.
Such was the skill set and sheer determination of Will and the others, the team managed to complete the challenge with two hours to spare, achieving 60.25km and skiing a total of 399 runs.
A delighted Will said it was a "very special feeling" being part of a successful world record effort.
“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been fascinated by the Guinness World Records and I’m so proud to be part of a team that’s set a new one,” he said.
"To smash the record by almost 20km with two hours still left on the clock feels really amazing.
“I know it’s going to take a little while before the official confirmation comes through - but I’m confident we’ll get the thumbs up.
"To become a world record holder in a sport I love so much, is a very special feeling.”
So far, Will and the team have raised 42% of the £3,000 fundraising target for Disability Snowsport UK, which aims to bring equal access to snowsports for those living with disability.
Will is keen everyone continues to donate to what he describes as an utterly “fantastic charity”.
“It felt all the more special to complete the challenge Disability Snowsport UK, a brilliant charity who helped me learn how to ski,” said Will.
"Their instructors are fantastic – very professional, understanding and patient.
"I would definitely encourage anyone thinking about skiing to reach out to them and take a lesson at their local indoor centre or dry ski slope.
"I hope through what we have achieved, we can help inspire other people who have disabilities or have suffered injuries to give skiing a go.”
To make a donation, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/dsukmonoski
For more information, visit: https://www.disabilitysnowsport.org.uk/