darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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September 1, 2009

A Maffra amputee who lost his leg at 19 years of age will kayak from Sale to Lakes Entrance to inspire other people livingwith a disability.  The 120km trip will take around four days and push Andrew Bedgood to his physical limits.

To assist with preparation and awareness of the Sale to the Sea Amputee Kayak Challenge, The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester will join Andrew and fellow amputee Adlar Bush in a practice paddle tomorrow at the Port of Sale.

Mr Chester said the event would raise funds for amputee services and increase awareness of the challenges being faced.

“The Sale to the Sea Amputee Kayak Challenge is not only a fund raising event to benefit amputees  – it is also a challenge to all amputees, and any other person living with a disability, to actively participate in life to the best of their ability and “have a go”,” Mr Chester said.

“Andrew wants to showcase the Australian spirit of overcoming adversity and getting on with life while promoting the Gippsland Lakes as an iconic tourist attraction both locally and nationally.

“Four consecutive days of kayaking over a total 130km is a huge challenge for anyone but Andrew is determined and committed and I have no doubt he will inspire many locals and all the other kayakers joining him on different legs of the journey.”

Mr Bedggood is an amputee of 25 years as the result of a motor vehicle accident and intends to use the Kayak Challenge to give back to the many organisations that have helped him through his journey.

“I know all too well the devastating effect that unexpected trauma can have and the ripple effect that flows on to all who are a part of their life. Family, friends, employers, team mates all experience and share, in varying degrees, the lengthy rehabilitation process,” Mr Bedggood said. 

“Funds raised will go back to the services that support amputees and other trauma patients to return to a lifestyle which, in most cases, is quite different than before the amputation.”

“I encourage local businesses, organisations and individuals to get involved and support this event whether it be in the way of sponsorship, donations of money, goods & services or buying raffle tickets – all help will be greatly appreciated.”

If you wish to support this event in any capacity, please contact Andrew Bedggood on
(BH) 51430-187 or (m) 0407 471-539 for further information

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