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'I've got no hang-ups at all, I've never cried why me?'- West Norfolk man on why he feels lucky to be in a wheelchair

PUBLISHED: 14:31 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:31 01 May 2019

Maurice Charge has Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia and now enjoys skydiving and gliding. Photo: Emily Prince

Maurice Charge has Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia and now enjoys skydiving and gliding. Photo: Emily Prince

Archant

A west Norfolk man wants to spread the word of a charity that has helped him developed a passion for extreme-sports whilst being in a wheelchair.

Sportability help a number of wheelchair users take part in a varity of sports. Photo: Maurice ChargeSportability help a number of wheelchair users take part in a varity of sports. Photo: Maurice Charge

Maurice Charge was diagnosed in 2009 with a rare disorder that causes weakness and stiffness in the leg muscles and said he looks at the world with totally different eyes now.

“It's a weird thing,” he said. “I still don't consider myself in a wheelchair, I've got no hang-ups at all, I've never cried 'why me?'. One of my phrases is, it's better to be born lucky than rich and I consider myself lucky I've got hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP).”

The ex-racehorse owner was the All-England junior shot-put champion in his youth and two years ago was trying to get back into it through para-athletics.

The 60-year-old, who lives in Terrington St Clement, added: “I was training really hard in a home gym and with a coach, had become the UK number one and was working towards the Olympics in Rio.

Maruice Charge is able to go gliding thanks to chairty Sportability. Photo:Maurice ChargeMaruice Charge is able to go gliding thanks to chairty Sportability. Photo:Maurice Charge

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“Unfortunately the hard training sped up my progression, it was the devil and the deep blue sea. My urologist said to me 'Mo you've got to do lighter training or stop'. I couldn't do lighter training because I wouldn't get the distance that I wanted so I took his advice and retired gracefully.”

Growing up in Hertfordshire, Mr Charge moved to Norfolk last June and it was then he found the charity Sportability, which provides a range of accessible sports in the UK for people with paralysis.

He added: “The first activity I did was indoor skydiving, and the friendliness of the staff was the first time I had encountered proper sincere, genuine kindness, it was unbelievable.

“I then went glider flying, another thing I wouldn't even have thought of doing when I was able-bodied. When I got there I was like an eight-year-old, it was absolutely brilliant.

“Sportability is a big ray of sunshine to anybody with any condition; I can only sing their praises. Just sitting in that glider, I was on such a high for three or four days after. I do genuinely think I'm lucky.”

For more information visit www.sportability.org.uk

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