Dancing at the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in 2002 in Manchester was one of the proudest moments of Chris Nash's life. A keen long distance runner, he valued the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise. However, in the space of 12 months this was all taken away from him. Chris' dreams were shattered when he learnt he had a degenerative and neurological illness which resulted in him losing his hearing and becoming a permanent wheelchair user.
With the will of a champion, Chris didn't allow his condition to stop him from enjoying sport. He credits sports and his newfound passion for wheelchair racing for retaining his hunger for life, and for his drive to work hard and achieve his goals. Having got so much out of sport, Chris wanted to help others benefit from sport too.
Last July, Right to Play UK was chosen as the official charity partner for the Müller Anniversary Games in London. Through volunteering at the Games, Chris learned much more about Right to Play, and enjoyed meeting members of the team and staff. Chris quickly realised that Right To Play was a charity that he would love to be able to support more.
As a sports enthusiast, Right To Play's unique programmes resonated with Chris. Right To Play use sport and play to educate disadvantaged children, creating a long-term and sustainable solution for communities facing poverty, disease and conflict.
Chris has experienced first-hand how play and sport can transform lives. Since he became wheelchair bound, sport has not only transformed his life but become his main focus, as he found that he could achieve and enjoy himself in ways that he had initially imagined would be impossible with his disability.
This same feeling is one Chris hopes children will benefit from as a result of his fundraising for Right To Play – that through sport and play you can have fun, access education and learn important life skills.
"Participating in challenge events for Right to Play has given me a new source of motivation. I feel gratified that I'm able to make a difference in a child's life. Every child deserves the right to a good education and Right To Play provide this in fun, interactive and innovative ways. The power of sport in my life has been invaluable. What it can bring to a child's life is immeasurable."
Chris' fundraising in support of Right To Play began last September when he competed in a wheelchair race in his hometown, in the first ever Bury 10k. Just a week later, he headed to Bristol for another first – this time, his first ever Great Bristol Half Marathon, followed by a personal best in the Yorkshire Marathon.
A core member of #TeamRightToPlay, Chris has set himself the target of fundraising for the charity up to the end of 2017. #TeamRightToPlay is a community of individuals and teams who compete in challenges, such as marathons and cycling around the world, to raise funds for Right To Play.
He is a true inspiration and has raised nearly £900 for Right To Play so far, which is enough to give 30 children access to our play-based programme for a year.
Thank you Chris.
Click here to sponsor Chris