Phil Packer was told he might never walk again due to a spinal injury, but he has just completed 1,243 miles out of an epic 2,012 mile challenge and is heading to Stirling this month.
The University is delighted to welcome Packer and his team onto the campus on Friday 24 August as his BRIT 2012 Challenge walk arrives in central Scotland.
Students, staff and members of the community are urged to join Packer as he completes a six-mile circuit around Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, setting off at 11am.
After suffering a severe spinal cord injury in 2008 whilst serving with Her Majesty’s Forces, walking eight to 10 miles for Packer is the equivalent of doing a marathon.
When he completes his epic journey in December, Packer will have walked the equivalent of approximately 310 marathons in 330 days as he aims to raise £15m to build the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) Centre of Inspiration for young people facing adversity.
“This is about providing a physical legacy for our young people who face their darkest times and in a very special year including Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee Year and London 2012,” said Packer, who carried the Olympic Flame the day before the Opening Ceremony.
“I hope that 2,012 businesses will show their support of our young people who face adversity by creating a Centre of Inspiration together. I also hope to involve young people throughout the year and encourage teams to help charities within their communities.
“I look forward to hearing from charities and young people throughout the country that need support or would like to show their support for the BRIT cause.”
Packer will be welcomed by the Principal and Vice-Chancellor Gerry McCormac and the Lord Lieutenant Marjory McLachlan. He will also speak to invited school pupils from Bridge of Allan and Stirling before beginning the Stirling-leg of his route.
Principal Gerry McCormac said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Phil Packer to the University of Stirling. He is a truly inspirational figure and our students and staff will relish the chance to hear from him and be a part of his epic challenge.”
Packer will spend the whole of August walking in every region of Scotland. He will return to London in December for his final month when he will walk in each of the 33 London Boroughs before completing his 2012 miles at Canary Wharf.
The walk is just one of several major challenges Packer has undertaken. In 2009 he rowed the Channel, walked the London Marathon over 14 days and hauled himself up El Capitan in California.
After raising £1.3 million for the wounded, he became Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards and was given the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Phil Packer is the founder and Non-Paid Chief Executive of the British Inspiration Trust. Phil Packer served in Her Majesty’s Forces for 17 years and sustained spinal cord damage in February 2008 while serving on operational duty and subsequently told it was highly unlikely he’d walk again.
In 2009, to regain self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence, whilst battling depression, he raised over £1.3million for the wounded military personnel in the space of nine months. He rowed the English Channel, walked the London Marathon over 14 days on crutches and hauled himself up El Capitan by completing 4,250 pull ups; all within 16 months of suffering a spinal cord injury with a prognosis that it would be highly unlikely that he would walk again.
Through the BRIT 2012 Challenge, Phil Packer aims to raise awareness around the British Inspiration Trust and raise £15 million to fund the build of the BRIT Centre of Inspiration – a nationwide rehabilitation facility planned to be built in West Sussex. It will bring young people nominated by BRIT’s 50 current charity partners under one roof for residential courses to help reshape their lives, inspired by a number of high-profile inspirational figures, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, Ade Adepitan and Sir Richard Branson, who have pledged their support and time to the Centre of Inspiration.