Paul Smith OBE
Paul Smith OBE was born in Kingswinford in November 1958, adopted 6 months later in April 1959, I emigrated to Australia with my parents where I lived for 9 years. We returned to the UK in 1968, where I grew up in a number of different towns and cities. I Joined the Royal Navy on the 8th April 1975, just 1 2 days after leaving school. During my career, I served in the Falklands and 1st Gulf campaign. I also represented the Royal Navy in several different sports, including the ultimate of sporting achievements, the Royal Navy Field Gun Crew. I represented Portsmouth Command Field Gun Crew (twice) at the Royal Tournament in front of Her Majesty the Queen at Earls Court.
In September 1991 my career was affected by a Road Traffic Accident. I went into lock-in/lock- down Syndrome for 12 years. The road to recovery was long and difficult, especially for my family.
Then in 2006, my life took a dramatic turn for the better, when I took on my first physical challenge by pushing myself 6 miles in my NHS wheelchair to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust. The fundraising continued with the fantastic support of my wife, Jane, my 3 daughters and a brilliant, dedicated support crew. The challenges took off and by 2015, we had raised an amount that surpassed anything we could ever imagine. Charities I and my crew have supported are Teenage Cancer Trust, Kiya Survivors, GOSH, Centrepoint Youth Homelessness, Save the Children and 2 local children here in Portsmouth.
I live with my family in Cosham and my fundraising continues with the same, kind support.
I am now a fully qualified UKA Athletics coach and am the lead wheelchair coach at the City of Portsmouth Athletic Club (COPAC). I also coach Physical Preparation(strength and conditioning) for all athletes at the club.