TGA has selected an Invictus Games competitor to be the face of the new WHILL powerchair which it has distributing in the UK.
Lamin Manneh, a disabled war hero and para-athlete will help to market the Japanese powerchair, which recently entered the UK market via TGA.
Developed in Japan by former Toyota and Nissan engineers, WHILL is a precision-built powerchair that provides greater accessibility through advanced driving capabilities. Each front wheel encompasses 24 ‘rings’ that can rotate sideways so WHILL turns without the need to pivot on a castor hence reducing the turning circle to a mere 71cm.
Combined with powerful four-wheel-drive the WHILL delivers strong traction across challenging terrain such as gravel and sand. As brand ambassador Manneh will be championing this performance during training, competitions and home life.
Manneh moved to Britain in 2005 from Gambia, a Commonwealth country, to follow his dream of joining the British Army. He served in the Irish Guards for five years until being seriously injured in Afghanistan on New Year’s Eve 2010. Manneh managed to miraculously pull through this ordeal and has now rebuilt his life as a triple amputee.
He is a proud veteran and father who supports a wife and five children – added by a fully accessible home which was converted during the BBC DIY SOS ‘Big Build: Homes for Veterans Special’.
Manneh was a key figure in this TV programme and subsequently was selected to represent Great Britain at the first Invictus Games where he won two bronzes. Invictus is a Paralympic-style tournament for disabled military personnel and Manneh is currently training for the 2017 Games in Toronto, Canada – competing in sitting volley ball, discus, shot putt and rowing.
“I am honoured to have been selected by TGA to be the first WHILL brand ambassador in the UK. I have used many different powerchairs since my injury however I believe the WHILL experience is unique,” commented Manneh.
Meanwhile, Daniel Stone, TGA managing director, said: “Lamin is a real inspiration to us all and a gentleman to work with. Together Lamin and WHILL perfectly represent our vision – to provide a stylish solution that empowers individuals to live life to the full through greater positivity and self-esteem. The ability to access the world in the way WHILL allows will significantly enhance mental health and well-being. WHILL is far more than a powerchair that provides mobility; it is a PEV that opens up opportunity and belief.”