Michael Bates is extraordinary: Why - because, at 43, he’s actually becoming faster, rather than slower, when it comes to sprinting, and secondly, because he’s achieving this with only one good leg.

Three years ago 'Mick' as he prefers to be called, was helping a friend with a trike; a very powerful trike. During a road test on the trike, Mick had a freak accident. Mick was a motorist on an uneven, recently repaired road: that caused him to become unbalanced on the vehicle, forcing him into contact with the kerb. Unfortunately for Mick there were concrete posts lining the payment from a former office block that had been torn down many years before. The posts are concrete and square; as a result when Mick and the post came together, it tore off his right leg just below the knee

The accident was so severe that the Yorkshire Air Ambulance came to his aid, air-lifting him to the Northern General and without that intervention he would almost certainly have died. That was three years ago.

Mick got into running almost by accident but was spotted by professional coaches very quickly. Despite still being in recovery, and despite an ill fitting false leg, Mick was running close to record speeds.  In 2018 he took part in the Warrior Games in Colorado, competing in the 100m, 200m, wheelchair basketball and power lifting. Incredibly, he picked up a Bronze medal in the 200m.

Mick now has a chance to compete not only in the Invictus games (Mick is a veteran solider) but also in the Paralympics. But, there’s a catch - as with all professional athletics championships, he has to achieve a specific time to qualify. This he can do, he’s only 0.3 seconds outside the 100m qualifying time – but he has reached the performance limits of his current blade.

It is perhaps Ironic that Mick survived a tour in Iraq and other danger zones, only to lose a leg at home, on a quiet road. Mick is the epitome of a good soldier; quiet, unassuming, taking the risks in his stride. As a soldier he put his life on the line in defence of his country. We’d like to pay it back.

Please help us to send Mick to Invictus Games and the Paralympics.