Former international para powerlifter Chris Rattenbury has received a new wheelchair from mobility specialists Ottobock — on his 40th birthday.
Mr Rattenbury, an Ottobock ambassador, chose to have his new Ventus wheelchair coloured red after his favourite football team, Liverpool, and is now looking forward to putting it through its paces, just as he did with his previous one.
He said: “The thing about the Ventus I love most is that, despite my unintentional effort, it’s indestructible. I can do everything I want to without fear of something going wrong with it, and it’s that reliability I need.”
The Ventus wheelchair is designed to fit the needs of a wide range of different users, with a number of adjustable components, a compact and lightweight design and 14 different colours to choose from.
Mr Rattenbury, from Milton Keynes, was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. He began powerlifting at the age of 18, and in 2010, represented England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. Since retiring from the sport four years ago through injury, he has become a prominent public speaker and basketball player for the team he grew up watching, the Stoke Mandeville Aces.
As well as being an Ottobock ambassador, he is also an ambassador for Wheelpower, a charity which encourages and supports wheelchair users into getting involved with sporting activities. In 2019 — in his new Ventus — he hopes to raise awareness and money by taking part in the Vitality Big Half in London, and possibly the BUPA Great North Run as well.
Ashleigh Hall, rehabilitation engineer and business manager, human mobility at Ottobock, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to provide Chris with his new wheelchair — and on his 40th birthday as well. Chris is a fantastic ambassador for us and for the promotion of wheelchair sport, and the Ventus is the perfect fit for him.”