Nigel Murray MBE, 50, from Leamington Spa and Olympian Boccia player, has been appointed as the latest Ambassador for The Mobility Roadshow at Donington Park, 25-27th June.
Free to attend, the Mobility Roadshow is the UK’s foremost disability event that promotes and supports personal independence. Organised by charity Mobility Choice, this unmissable calendar fixture showcases the widest choice of specialist equipment and mobility products to compare and contrast – all under one roof. Returning this yearattendeesth mobility restrictions event des visitors will thehe to the ever-popular and centrally located Donington Park, will give show attendees the invaluable experience of test-driving specialist wheelchair accessible and adapted cars around the world famous race circuit. Visitors can simultaneously access the latest expert advice from major car manufacturers to ensure they choose the ideal vehicle for their individual needs. Providing exciting opportunities for individuals and families alike, the 2015 Mobility Roadshow also includes the popular Get Going Live! event – a feature specifically focusing on the needs of young and novice drivers with disabilities.
The Mobility Roadshow organisers felt that Nigel would be an ideal ambassador for the 2015 event being a keen advocator of both the Roadshow and the Donington Park venue. Ambassadors proactively help to raise awareness of the event that helps people with disabilities and their families discover life-changing solutions. Nigel has been visiting the Roadshow since 1991 where he was introduced to previously unseen vehicle adaptations and conversions. Since then, he says, not only has technology greatly changed but so too have finance options. The Mobility Roadshow provides him with an ideal platform to find new innovative products, gain expert advice and try out different vehicles so that he can plan ahead with car purchases.
Nigel has been playing Boccia for over 20 years and regularly travels all over the country for training and to coach and compete. Increasingly reliant on a power chair, Nigel also wishes to retain independence when travelling without needing someone on hand to put his chair in a vehicle. He believes his current choice of vehicle, a Sirus Volkswagen Caddy, which he has had for 18 months, is ideally suited to his needs. A demonstration from a Sirus Mobility Advisor showed him how easy it was to enter and leave the car without assistance and Nigel says there is ample space for his sports wheelchair in the back as well as equipment and luggage needed for training camps. Nigel has had ‘push-pull’ hand controls fitted and Sirus also fitted a push button gear selector. He also has an automated wheelchair locking device which secures him into the driver’s position.
Nigel comments: “Unfortunately for disabled drivers, we cannot go into a dealership and take a test drive of a car we like as they do not have any driving adaptations. The closest you can get is sitting in the passenger seat whilst someone else drives, which is not ideal at all – test drives at the Mobility Roadshow are completely different.”
Nigel continues: “I think it is fantastic that the Mobility Roadshow is returning to Donington. Not only does the venue have good facilities and parking, but having the Donington race track is a real plus point and a great reason to visit. It provides a fantastic opportunity for visitors to test drive adapted and wheelchair accessible vehicles in a safe controlled environment, which gives them a true representation of the vehicle. Without the Roadshow this opportunity would not exist.”
Nigel, who has entered four Olympic Games to date, was the first British Boccia player to win a gold medal in 2000. Since then, he has won gold with Team GB in 2008 and individual silver and bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics. However, Nigel says his proudest moment was receiving his MBE from the Queen in 2013. He is currently training and coaching with Team GB working towards the Rio 2016 Paralympics qualifiers.