Amputee war hero fronts Scottish charity challenge

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SCOTTISH war hero Micky Yule, who lost both his legs fighting in Afghanistan, is in training as a weightlifter for Rio Paralympics, while raising awareness for Scottish disabled athletes.

The former Royal Engineer, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, was left a double amputee in 2010 after being seriously injured by a bomb in Helmand Province, eight weeks into his tour of duty.

The Cateran Yomp follows a 54-mile course to be completed in 24 hours. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

The Cateran Yomp follows a 54-mile course to be completed in 24 hours. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

Wind forward five years and the 36-year-old has managed to turn his life around, as well as training for the Paralympics, he has taken on the important role of Ambassador for ABF The Soldiers’ charity - an organisation providing support to serving and retired soldiers and their families.

Before travelling to Brazil, Yule will be in Blairgowrie next June next for the annual Cateran Yomp - a gruelling endurance event for that sees competitors trek 22, 36.5 or 54-miles round Perthshire’s Cateran Trail.

Yule credits the funding provided to him by The Soldiers’ Charity with getting his weightlifting up to an international standard.

He said: “I found it hard to train at the local gym as they didn’t have adaptive equipment suitable for a double amputee. I need competition kit so I applied to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and they got me grants.

Lots of people do fundraisers and shake buckets on streets but a charity that has a challenging event makes people more keen to do it.

Micky Yule, Team GB Paralympian Powerlifter

“The adapted weights bench meant I could train from home. Soldiers helped me to bulk up and I still have the kit as I train at home two days a week.

“I’m really involved in the buildup with the Cateran Yomp as I want to help crank it up next year. I want to help publicise it and get record numbers attending.

“It’s a great charity with nothing easy there - lots of people do fundraisers and shake buckets on streets but a charity that has a challenging event makes people more keen to do it. I’ll be there on the stands helping people and if I need to walk with them, I will.”

After his medical discharge from the Army, Yule married his partner Jody and was selected by Team Scotland to compete in Para-Powerlifting during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Micky's training regime is intensive. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

Micky's training regime is intensive. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

He later captained the British Armed Forces team during the Invictus Games, taking the gold medal back to Scotland for their efforts.

Yule said: “I’m training for the European Championships on 21 November and really cranking up the weights now. I’m looking to benchpress 195kg and hopefully win or come back with a silver medal.

I train twice a day four or five times a week, working closely with my nutritionists so I eat clean food. I’ve got to be a certain weight, like in boxing, and I need to be 68kg.

“I’d always been strong growing up and I’d had a go at powerlifting in the army and really enjoyed it. I went to a paralympic potential day and tried it, finding that I was still quite strong. I’ve never looked at any other sport since.”

Micky lost both his legs in 2010 after stepping upon an IED while on patrol in Afghanistan. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

Micky lost both his legs in 2010 after stepping upon an IED while on patrol in Afghanistan. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

Offering advice to other injured soldiers, Yule said: “I used to set myself little goals as there was no way I could go from lying in my hospital bed to training from the Paralympics otherwise.

“Keep up with little goals and make sure you have strong family and friends around you - as long as you’re not surounded by negativity you’ll be able to achieve them.”

Major General Martin Rutledge, chief executive of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity said: “We are delighted to confirm Micky as The Cateran Yomp Ambassador for 2016. As a former soldier, who sustained his injuries on active service,

“Micky is an athlete who has both benefited from our support and also understands our objectives as a charity that helps soldiers, veterans and their families.

“Micky Yule is an inspiration to all and we are delighted to support him on his quest for gold in Rio.”

Registration is now open for anyone who wants to take on the 2016 Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp over 11-12 June 2016, with Micky’s training progress available to follow on Twitter.

Micky Yule trains 4 or 5 times a week in preparation for various international powerlifting competitions. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

Micky Yule trains 4 or 5 times a week in preparation for various international powerlifting competitions. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

Hundreds of soldiers and ex-soldiers take part in the Yomp every year. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp

Hundreds of soldiers and ex-soldiers take part in the Yomp every year. Photo: Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp