Inspiring People

Charging for the finish lineI know that it was a while ago now but it is still worth mentioning the great result that was posted by the Sydney City to Surf 2007 team, that was in part sponsored by Brainmates. The team inspiration is Neville Brown, a friend and former colleague who has been forced to get around in a wheelchair for about the last five years because of his battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

For the last 3 years Neville and a band of fellow crazies (including myself) have braved the crowds of the Sydney City2Surf and charged our way from Hyde Park to Bondi pushing him up the hills and chasing him down the hills, all the while clearing a path through the throngs of runners. One of the reasons that I wanted to share this with the readers of this site is the inspiration that I get when I see Neville faced with super human challenges. Not only does he face challenges head on, but he defies them to beat him. There is a certain amount of belligerence to this but it is followed by a lot of thought and problem solving.

For example, last year we crashed the chair as we careened towards Bondi Beach. When I close my eyes I still his face hitting the road as the from wheel of the chair wedged in a crack in the road. I figured that it might then have been our last run for safety reasons (I had to face his wife afterwards!) but 2 months before the race this year I get a call. This time we had a road safe chair, a helmet and a safety harness (and permission from his wife). The run was on for another year.

This year was our best year ever. With an official published time of 64mins we broke all of our previous official records. Admittedly the official time was a truncated from our actual time of around 84mins since we were unexpectedly allowed to start the race with the lead pack rather than the Back of the Pack group that we have started with in previous years. However even if you want to count our gun time is was still a Personal best for the team.

The official sponsors t-shirt Most of us have to deal with stuff that we don’t particularly like. Most of the time we can work around it, avoid it or choose to do something else. Sometimes though you just have to deal with an imperfect situation and get on with it. I am constantly inspired by Neville because he not only deals with the challenges that MS has thrown at him, but he then elevates that effort to help others or to do things that others would consider impossible.

It is this show of determination that made Brainmates proud to be sponsoring the team in support of a group called ParaQuad NSW who provide opportunities to people in wheelchairs and the like to do the things that most people take for granted.