Scole war hero part of historic South Pole team
Inspirational Scole man Duncan Slater, who lost both legs serving with the RAF Regiment in Afghanistan, will join a small team of veterans who start training tomorrow for an historic endurance race to the South Pole.
The Walking with the Wounded 2013 challenge will see teams of wounded servicemen and women from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia trek 330km in sub-zero temperatures across the Polar Plateau over four weeks, later this year.
Tomorrow morning, Mr Slater, of London Road, joins other UK team members on Brancaster Beach in north Norfolk for their first endurance training session together, which will include dragging heavy tyres to replicate pulling a 70kg sledge.
“Since I got injured I have kept myself fit,” Mr Slater said. “I’ve done a lot of arctic warfare training in the past and also had a couple of ski holidays, but it will be completely different now I am on prosthetic limbs.”
The 33-year-old was chosen from 300 applicants as one of six team members to undergo training. The final four, who will make the South Pole trek accompanied by polar expedition experts, will be named in March following an arduous two-week challenge in Iceland.
Mr Slater was injured in July 2009 in Helmand Province. A Taliban roadside bomb detonated under his vehicle and he was thrown 30ft through the air, breaking almost every bone in his body.
Despite devastating injuries, he spent a year in rehabilitation fighting back to recovery but, when his leg wounds refused to heal, he took the decision to have both legs amputated below the knee.
“Within six weeks I was up on prosthetics. It was the best thing to do,” he said.
Mr Slater’s wife, Kim, was pregnant with their daughter, Lilly, now aged three, when he was injured. His family was, he said, “my over-riding motivation to get going and recover”.
For more information on the challenge, see wwtw.org.uk
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Weather for Diss
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 25 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North east