Friday, 18 April 2014

Blinded by Science!

It's that time of year when most people wear smiles on their faces in this part of the world - a bit of sunshine and warm weather really seems to cheer people up. It's lovely to be able to wheel around town and not freeze almost to death! Mind you, I say 'wheel' but I really struggle in this loan wheelchair and can't wait to get my own chair in the next few weeks. That really will put a smile on my face.

Last week I paid a visit to 'Your World Healthcare' in London. They have been wonderfully supportive to my charity and myself so I popped in to say a big thank you. Whilst I was there I learned a group of them are going to tackle 'Tough Mudder' on April 26th to raise money for community groups. Having completed the same course last year I gave them three bits of advice; 1). It is NOT a race. 2). Teamwork is vital. 3). Please get across the finish line because the feeling of having really achieved something is a wonderful experience. I could not have done it without the incredible support of my team from AbleChildAfrica and it was an experience I shall always be proud of.

This week I was invited by the Church of Scotland to participate in the Edinburgh International Science Festival. I was there to debate some very serious issues, such as,'Do sport and science really mix'? and,'Can the use of technology make sport a truly level playing field'? This is the year of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow and the audience based debate saw me on a panel with Rugby star Scott Hastings, Dr.Grant Jarvie, and the moderator was the great sports journalist Graham Speirs. We explored the benefits, problems and ethical questions that arise from the use of technological advances in competitive sport. I was really impressed when Scott Hastings said that in his day he played sport for the love of it and not for fame or money! That is exactly why I took part in competitive wheelchair racing but it seems that for many people these days money rules everything and people will go to any lengths to win, even damaging their bodies by using drugs. Anyway, I enjoyed the debate and would really like the opportunity to air my own views more often. Thanks for inviting me!

Today is Good Friday, the day Jesus gave his life to help save humanity. I watched a programme on BBC1, 'The Great North Passion', which came live from Norman's home town, South Shields.  I remember him once saying to me that a while ago people valued and embraced Christianity and religion as whole more than they do these days, and today, as I watched this programme, I thought to myself .... 'there would have been a lot more people present because people were a lot more religious'. I think it's really sad that people in general seem to have lost their faith. I feel certain the world would be a lot happier place if they found it again! 

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