Seated water-skiing, indoor skydiving and a mammoth zipwire are just a few of the amazing new challenges for 2019 on Rich Copson’s list of inclusive sports and activities he’s never previously attempted, with a goal of raising £5,000 for MDUK and a local Leicester-based charity.
He hopes the funds raised will help families and also motivate children with the condition to embrace their abilities and show the world, “What You CAN Do Matters”. This is his personal social media tagline.
“The fundraising I do now is not for me. I’ve got Becker and I expect to live with it, but I want to help families with children who have more life-limiting muscle conditions. They are facing potentially the early loss of a child and they need that support. I am extremely motivated to do whatever I can to help these families.”
Additionally Rich has also been working with a local SEN School called AshField Academy to develop a careers programme for their disabled students. He is a special advisor for disability or special needs for kids searching for employment.
“It’s about finding a fit about what they can do for the employer. The roles we look for are very much centred around the interests and talents of the individual – anything from music and arts – dependent on what they want. We are also encouraging employers to look at more flexible ways of working such as at home, so access to hoists and specialist equipment can be in place. It’s getting businesses to think about employing disabled folk in a new way.”
Rich has also started working alongside Leicester City FC Community Trust who have called upon the MD Fighter to support their local disability initiatives.
“I am very excited, said Rich. I’ll be working on providing career advice, locating and sourcing potential employers and helping to get youngsters work ready.
“It is so great as it’s going to give me the chance to help people at the stage that I was when I was first diagnosed.”
Although Rich has Becker muscular dystrophy, he’s taking on a ‘10 for Duchenne’ fundraising challenge, with these challenges on his list:
- sit-ski – completed
- 100mph zip wire in Wales – completed
- indoor skydive – completed
- wheelchair tennis – completed
- one-mile wheel in Leicester
- 1km walk on crutches in Leicester
- seated ice hockey
“I get a lot of support from Muscular Dystrophy UK. It is just fantastic to know that they have got your back.”