The Mighty Climb

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At 22, David Millar was playing rugby for Glasgow and Scotland. Whilst playing in New Zealand, David suffered a spinal cord injury which has left him unable to walk and with limited use of his arms and hands, which meant that at just 22, David’s rugby career sadly came to an end.

David studied neurological injury and obtained a degree in Psychology in New Zealand working in the concussion clinic in Auckland Hospital. Once David returned to the UK, he obtained a Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology. David’s list of achievements goes on and he has worked with the NHS, teaches at Newcastle University and is involved in research with British Psychological Society.

In 2010, David returned to New Zealand, where he sustained his injury 20 years earlier, to complete a 250mile hand cycle in 10 days raising £31,845. This challenge, named ‘The Mighty Push’, received support from various sporting celebrities and reached the national news in New Zealand.

This time round, David is took it one step further with ‘The Mighty Climb’. Whilst on holiday in France, David drove up the Col de Tourmalet, one of the longest climbs used in the Tour De France, which goes up the highest road in the Pyrenees, and decided he wanted to cycle it. However, he realised it was too step for him on his own and so, with his friend Nick Strange, attached a bike to the back of his handcyle using a toy which normally pulls a child’s bike and planned a tandem cycle up the Tourmalet!

The plan developed into an amazing 3756m climb up not one but three of the highest passes in the Pyrenees: Col du Tourmalet, Col de Aubisque, and Col du Soulor.

David said it was a real challenge; “... from the long never ending drag of the Tourmalet, to the steep Soulor and the cliff side cycle up the Aubisque.“ However, “ was an amazing experience and we received fantastic support from the locals.

On supporting Wings for Life David feels that if everyone touched by spinal cord injury does a little bit to raise funds, it will bring the day treatments are available closer.

“I chose to support Wings for Life as they are dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injury, have developed an amazing group supporters and have the infrastructure to make it happen.“  

David raised a fantastic £2,631 for Wings for Life and you can find out more at:

David is very grateful to The Mighty Climb Team; Nick and Vicky Strange, Simon Midgley, his wife Lynn and everyone that supported them. We too would like to say a very big thank you to them all, and to David for his fantastic ongoing support, and congratulations to him on completing such a demanding challenge.