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Phil Packer's biggest challenge yet


Phil Packer: 'It's about what you can do - not can't'

BBC One: Saturday, 1 May 1300 BST, repeated Tuesday 4 May, 2315
BBC HD Channel: Sunday 2 May 1510, Thursday 6 May 1900

In the Spring of 2008, Phil Packer was paralysed from the waist down by a rocket attack on his army base in Iraq. Yet, within a year, he had set himself the challenge of raising £1m to help injured service personnel.

He rowed the English Channel, climbed El Capitan mountain in Yosemite National Park and completed the London Marathon in 13 days.

Having successfully reached his incredible target, Phil's remarkable fundraising efforts were recognised at last year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Sheffield, where he was presented with the Helen Rollason award by his hero Sir Steve Redgrave.

For 2010, Phil is back and taking on his biggest challenges to date.

Inside Sport follows him every step of the way as he climbs Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in the worst of this winter's weather, all in the aid of Sport Relief, and attempts to complete this year's Marathon in just 26 hours.

I consider Phil to be someone who is extraordinarily driven, hugely motivated and probably the most stubborn person I know

BBC newsreader Kate Silverton

Phil's life and career as an army major were both shattered when his regiment's base in Basra came under rocket attack in March 2008, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.

But since his recovery, Packer has undertaken a remarkable chain of fundraising challenges which have propelled him into the spotlight.

And now Inside Sport follows him as he plots his most arduous challenges yet - climbing three of the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales.

Climbing in dreadful weather conditions, his main companion on the trip was BBC newsreader Kate Silverton.

Packer wins BBC award

"We had known each other before but not as intimately as we did after living in the back of a bus for four days, driving through Scotland, England and Wales together!" said Silverton.

"I consider Phil to be someone who is extraordinarily driven, hugely motivated and probably the most stubborn person I know. I watched as he took on a challenge that tested the entire team we were with (including experienced mountaineers).

"We were climbing in thigh-deep snow and in temperatures of minus 10 degrees and below. Phil never gave up.

"It was an experience I will never forget - it tested me personally and also served as a powerful example of what can be achieved when someone is determined enough to overcome any challenge they themselves face.

"Phil is simply an inspiration and I salute him and his courage and wish him every success in his inspirational fundraising exploits in the future."

With the Three Peaks behind him, Phil focuses on completing the 2010 London Marathon in 26 hours, raising money for 26 different charities. It promises to be a painful and emotional return.

But what drives Phil Packer to greater and greater feats? How has he managed to turn his life around from such despair? In this Inside Sport, Gabby Logan attempts to get under the skin of the Major-turned-disability campaigner.

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see also
Major wins Helen Rollason award
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality

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