Thursday 20 March 2014
Alumni: Gus McKechnie
In his time as a student and now as an alumni at Southampton Solent University, Gus has been instrumental in many areas of sport not only here, but within the City of Southampton. The following article will allow you to get an understanding of the huge impact he has had on so many people over the last 12 or so years.
The range of support he has given to others is vast from rowing coaching to writing and securing funding bids, from driving minibuses around the UK to raising millions for charity, Gus is a truly inspirational and dedicated volunteer, and his work has touched so many people.
Many forget that not only does Gus support others, but he is also a talented athlete who has competed in numerous sports, American Football, Rowing, Athletics and more recently Wheelchair Rugby to name but a few. Gus has broken world records, achieved massive individual challenges and faced up to adversity in only a way that he knows how.
It was very fitting and a huge honour to nominate him and then watch him carry the Olympic Torch in 2012 and I look forward to seeing his latest ventures unfold as he finishes one challenge, he’ll almost certainly start another!
You have raised a phenomenal amount for various charities. Can you tell us about any fundraising you are doing at the moment?
I’m trying to cycle 50,000 miles on a stationary bike on the Red Funnel for a number of charities. I also have some other challenges lined up for this year, including rowing around the Isle of Wight Solo and an Ironman.
Tell us about your awards and trophies:
I was lucky enough to carry the Olympic torch in Southampton in 2012. I also received a lifetime achievement award from Solent University in 2005 and the Southampton Stags retired my shirt number (#58).
What sporting achievements are you most proud of?
Hard to say because I’m still going – I haven’t had the chance to sit back and reflect yet.
What is a typical training session/training day?
Stepping up all the time now but for example on Wednesday mornings I train with Team Solent Wheelchair Rugby in the morning, I do something on my own lunchtime and then train with the Sharks strength and conditioning in the evening.
What Team Solent clubs do you work with?
Team Solent Rowing and I help and play for the Team Solent Sharks.
What are the toughest challenges you are facing?
I was born with cerebral palsy/hemiparesis and I’m facing some reduced function in my affected left side.
Do you have any upcoming competitions or sports events?
We have the third part of the Super Series for the Sharks at the end of this month.
What are your favourite sports?
I love a lot of sport. I do like my rowing, American football, Wheelchair rugby and rugby.
Who is your favourite athlete?
Tatyana Mcfadden is one of my latest favourites. American Footballers – Steve Tasker and Walter Payton.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Sport, music and cinema.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now to finish my 50,000 miles stationary cycle.