Help for Heroes Student – Ross Austen
Ross has always been a really active person and was a keen footballer prior to joining the forces. Having served in the Army for twelve years, he was on Operations with a Commando Engineer Regiment in Afghanistan in 2008 when he was injured in an explosion. His leg and knee were shattered and since then he has undergone over 20 operations. Ross then had to make to very difficult decision, due to the severity of his injuries, to have his leg amputated above the knee.
Ross has spent two and a half years in rehabilitation at Headley Court. During this time there was a talent identification day where he got to try out a number of Paralympic sports. Following on from this he got involved in both swimming and athletics which allowed him to regain the active lifestyle he had always known. He then had the opportunity to do a triathlon, raising a million dollars for military charities, a huge achievement. He loved doing the triathlon, realised that this was the sport for him and hasn’t looked back since.
Ross went to trials at Loughborough University for the GB triathlon squad last year and got in. This is a new sport for the Paralympics so, although there will be a showcase this year, he won’t compete until 2016. This gives him time to throw himself into training and get to where he needs to be.
Ross has a clear plan for what he would like to do with his future. After finishing the Training Room course he wants to do level 4 courses in GP referral, advanced nutrition and strength and conditioning. “In the New Year I plan to train and compete full time, the Training Room qualification is great because it means I can fit my clients around my training,” said Ross. After he has competed in the 2016 Paralympics he would like to move in to coaching and we’re sure this is something he will excel at and that he’ll be a true inspiration to everyone that he works with.