Uddingston Paralympian prepares for Olympic torch moment

Michael Kerr with the City of Glasgow College's health and fitness team.
Michael Kerr with the City of Glasgow College's health and fitness team.

Uddingston Paralympian Michael Kerr is preparing for one of the proudest moments of his life as he carries the Olympic torch as part of a UK-wide relay.

Michael will carry the symbol of the Games through the streets of Glasgow on Friday, a moment for the 29-year-old, which represents a brave battle against the odds.

A decade ago, the health and fitness student was forced to cut his studies short after a diving accident on a summer holiday left him paralysed.

Despite the tragic accident, Michael made it his goal to continue in sport and decided to take up wheelchair rugby.

Now, after five years of battling to win a place in the professional GB squad, he’s finally achieved his dream.

Michael said: “It’s a massive honour to be asked to take part in the Olympic torch relay. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and to come just ahead of my debut at the London Paralympics is amazing.

“I’m really looking forward to heading to the Games after such a gruelling period of training. We’ve already taken part in a test event at the venue, which was amazing despite being fairly quiet.

“When we head to the Paralympic Games it will be at full capacity with more than 12,000 spectators so the atmosphere will be electric.”

To help Michael prepare for the challenge, City of Glasgow College, an official partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, gave the former student free access to its state-of-the-art facilities to train and prepare for the event.

Iain Houston, head of department for fitness and sports, said: “We were delighted to help Michael and it’s great that he’s been able to come in and speak to the sports students because it helps them in their studies of working to support people with disabilities.”

Wheelchair rugby was first introduced to the Paralympic Games in 2000 and involves teams of four players per side.

The indoor game is known for its speed and aggression and has gained huge popularity with seats for this year’s matches in London completely sold out.