Ely man Arthur Cutter calling for more sports to be made accessible for wheelchair users after England’s Cricket World Cup win
PUBLISHED: 11:43 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:47 15 July 2019
Harry Rutter / ARCHANT
A man from Ely – who is paralysed from the waist down – is calling for more sports to be made accessible for people in a wheelchair.
Arthur Cutter who, like many, enjoyed England's Cricket World Cup win on Sunday hopes that more can be done to make sport more inclusive.
The 77-year-old tries his best to keep fit and attends classes and clubs at The Hive Leisure Centre in the city at least twice a week.
He said: "I was watching the Cricket World Cup and it got me thinking, could we do any sport in a wheelchair.
"I have a broken spine and little to no feeling from the waist down, but if I stayed in my wheelchair all the time I might as well be dead."
Arthur made headlines in 2003 after he was refused entry to the London Marathon with his hand-cranked cycle. He left and headed to New York to compete in their marathon instead.
Arthur was left paralysed after falling from a ladder while doing DIY on his previous home in Witchford.
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He fell onto concrete and couldn't get up; luckily one of his neighbours was a doctor and instructed paramedics to put a spinal board under him.
He spent almost 10 weeks in Addenbrooke's Hospital; he had a bottom rib removed and fused to his back bone for extra stability. He thought he'd never walk again.
A specialist sent him to a spinal unit in Sheffield where, with the help and support from doctors, Arthur worked at building up strength to walk.
After weeks of physiotherapy Arthur could eventually get up with crutches and get on to the parallel bars, he says it was "the hardest I've worked in all my life".
Now, he walks between the two parallel bars at one of his weekly sessions at The Hive as he pursues every opportunity to keep active and healthy.
Following the successful wheelchair tennis match, Arthur would now like to take suggestions on what can be done in the UK and local area for more inclusive sport.
He added: "I'm always looking for things to do and ways to stay fit. One thing I don't do is live for standing still."
Do you have a suggestion or an inclusive club in mind? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01354 661955. Your ideas will be passed on to Arthur.
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