Western Australia’s top wheelchair para triathlete has added his name to the heavyweight line up of competitors taking part in this year’s Geraldton Toyota Endure Batavia Triathlon on April 17.
Two times para triathlete state champion Nige Young will compete in the gruelling long course, swimming 1.5km, bike riding for 44km and completing the 10km run in a racing wheelchair.
Mr Young is currently placed number one in the Sunsmart Sprint Series for men para triathletes in WA, and took out fourth place for Australia at the World Open Para Triathlon Championships in Chicago last year.
He also won the men’s para in the Busselton 70.3 Ironman competition in May last year. This is his first time competing in Geraldton.
“A good friend of mine, para cyclist Craig Parsons, has competed in Geraldton before and said it was the most amazing atmosphere and crowd so I’m really looking forward to competing,” Mr Young said.
Mr Young began his career as a triathlete as an 18-year-old in the UK, where he relished the chance to push his body to its limits.
But a car accident on the return from a duathlon when he was 20 resulted in a shattered neck and damaged spinal cord. Doctors told his parents there was a one per cent chance he’d ever be able to move a muscle below his neck. He’d be a virtual vegetable.
But, within months, Mr Young moved his left big toe and went on to regain movement in both legs. He went on to forge a career with the military in the UK but the damage his body sustained meant Mr Young never again considered competing in triathlons.
But one day after moving to Australia Mr Young found himself watching seemingly endless online videos of triathlons. He called the state and national triathlon associations to find out more and in 2014 discovered he could compete – swimming normally, completing the bike leg using a recumbent hand-cycle and running leg in a racing wheelchair.
But why does he push his ailing body to its extremes?
“It’s all about pushing boundaries and saying yes you have a spinal injury but that doesn’t mean life ends,” he said.
“I have always pushed boundaries – even before the accident – I love pushing my personal limits and proving to myself and others that you can do things even if you’re in a wheelchair or have a spinal injury.
“And, I love racing.”
For more information on Geraldton Toyota Endure Batavia Triathlon visit the website: www.geraldtontriclub.com.au/endure-batavia-triathlon.aspx