Chris Rattenbury's Ventus story
Pushing in a Ventus wheelchair: Chris has set his sights on the London Marathon
After realising his goal of pushing a half marathon in his Ventus wheelchair, Chris had his sights on the London Marathon earlier this year. However, like many plans in 2020 this was put on hold due to Coronavirus.
Chris has been involved in sport since the age of about eight. His father was into sport and was very much of the thought that you mustn’t sit around and do nothing. To help his son get involved in sport he sought out what was available and in 1988 they went to the Junior Games. Chris wasn’t into watching sports but went along anyway and actually really enjoyed it. This inspired him to try some sport and started out playing wheelchair basketball.
Chris was an angry and frustrated child so his dad continued to look for an outlet for him. He watched wheelchair racing and thought it would be good for Chris. So Chris went onto try it and took part in his first race at Stoke Mandeville when he was 14. He found himself racing against David Weir, who went on to become one of the most successful Paralympic champions in history.
Through wheelchair racing Chris got great guidance and it helped him to set goals. “That’s when I started to enjoy it,” says Chris. Chris has had some setbacks including contracting Protius Septicemea from an implant in his bladder and spent six months in hospital.
Chris’ dad continued to find ways to keep Chris interested in sport and organised for him to go to Atlanta to watch the 1996 Paralympics. “I wasn’t sure about going as I still wasn’t much of fan of watching sport, says Chris. “But this is where I saw Powerlifting and thought I could do that.”
Chris went on to take up powerlifting and stuck with it up until 2014. Chris sustained a back injury and went to hospital to get checked which highlighted other issues. “I did continue with training but it was painful and I eventually threw in the towel,” remembers Chris.
Chris is now an ambassador for the charity WheelPower based at the birthplace of the Paralympics – Stoke Mandeville Stadium. He has retained his independence thanks to his positive attitude and his Ventus wheelchair from Ottobock.
Chris puts his wheelchair through its paces with his active lifestyle, so it was important for him to have a chair he can rely on throughout his adventurous endeavours. The Ventus became the natural choice with its lightweight but sturdy frame, comfort levels and handling together with the fact it can be customised. Naturally Chris opted for a red paint finish after his beloved football team Liverpool.
Chris has a never give up attitude and always does his very best in everything he does. This provides sound advice for people who find themselves in a similar position to him.
Fortunately for Chris he has had his place confirmed for the London Marathon 2021 so is once again looking forward to his next challenge in his Ventus wheelchair.