Lamin Manneh, 40, from Manchester, disabled war hero, para-athlete and Invictus Games competitor, is “honoured” to have been appointed as the first Ambassador for the new WHILL powerchair from TGA.
WHILL is a Personal Electric Vehicle (PEV) that is redefining powered wheelchair design. Designed and developed by leading talents from the Japanese car industry, WHILL from TGA is a pioneering new powerchair that provides a higher level of manoeuvrability. It incorporates ‘omni’ front wheels which deliver forward and lateral rotation so that normal castor pivoting is not required when turning. This significantly reduces the turning circle so negotiating obstacles and restricted space is far easier. Combined with powerful four-wheel-drive the WHILL delivers revolutionary traction across challenging terrain such as gravel and sand. As brand ambassador Lamin will be championing this ground-breaking performance during training, competitions and home life.
Lamin moved to Britain in 2005 from Gambia, a Commonwealth country, to follow his dream of joining the British Army. He served in the Irish Guards for five years until being seriously injured in Afghanistan on New Year’s Eve 2010. Lamin managed to miraculously pull through this ordeal and has now rebuilt his life as a triple amputee.
He is a proud veteran and father who supports a wife and five children – added by a fully accessible home which was converted during the BBC DIY SOS ‘Big Build: Homes for Veterans Special’. Lamin was a key figure in this TV programme and subsequently was selected to represent Great Britain at the first Invictus Games where he won two bronzes. Invictus is a Paralympic-style tournament for disabled military personnel and Lamin is currently training for the 2017 Games in Toronto, Canada – competing in sitting volley ball, discus, shot putt and rowing. Lamin was also the guest VIP who officially opened the Silverstone Mobility Roadshow in 2016 and continues to work with the charities Walking with the Wounded and Blesma.
Lamin comments: “I am honoured to have been selected by TGA to be the first WHILL brand ambassador in the UK. I have used many different powerchairs since my injury however I believe the WHILL experience is unique. It delivers manoeuvrability like no other so accessibility at home and whilst competing at the Invictus Games will be effortless. Throughout my life I have always been determined to achieve as much as I can to support my family, WHILL empowers me to go further and fulfil my aspirations without barriers or compromise. WHILL will keep me mentally strong as I strive for greater physical aptitude and success.”
Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director, adds: “Lamin is a real inspiration to us all and a gentleman to work with. Together Lamin and WHILL perfectly represent our vision – to provide a stylish solution that empowers individuals to live life to the full through greater positivity and self-esteem. The ability to access the world in the way WHILL allows will significantly enhance mental health and well-being. WHILL is far more than a powerchair that provides mobility; it is a PEV that opens up opportunity and belief.”