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Ray Lowrie was injured in 2008 whilst on a training exercise with the Royal Marines in Norway. He suffered severe injuries to his ankle and underwent 12 operations in six years in an attempt to fix his problems.
Unfortunately the surgery made Ray’s pain and restrictions worse, leaving him in a position where he chose to have his left leg amputated below the knee. He attended Headley Court, a rehabilitation centre in Surrey, where he had a prosthetic leg made and was taught to walk again.
Ray had always led an active lifestyle and was delighted when he was able to go to the gym again. He said: “I was back. I was pushing myself to new limits and finding new goals and new personal bests.”
A talent scout from GB Rowing spotted Ray and he later had trials to see if he had what it took to become a Paralympian. Ray trained with the team for a year but decided to stand down from this position due to family and other commitments.
“Despite standing down I didn’t stop there,” Ray added. “I trained as a rowing coach so I could give back to the sport,”
Ray is now an instructor for RowingTek.co.uk, at Exeter rowing club, and teaches 11-18 year olds how to row.
“I have been told that I inspire the children I teach by showing them that I can still do things they do despite my disability.”
Ray doesn’t let his injuries hold him back, saying: “I don’t let disability define me; I make the decisions that shape my destiny.
“If I was to give you only one piece of advice I’d say don’t quit, do it. Whether you’re training, competing or coaching, you’ll be inspiring someone.”
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