Henry Wuga gets on his bike - his ski bike - to help amputees learn how to zip down mountains

By Leon Symons, October 7, 2010

Octogenarian Henry Wuga loves his mountain-sized challenges. Not only does he train ex-soldiers who have lost limbs to slalom down slopes, for his 80th and 85th birthdays he raised £30,000 for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association through sponsored skiing.

"I am going to raise another £15,000 for my 90th birthday but I'm doing it now when I'm 88 in case I don't make it that far," he jokes.

Mr Wuga came to Britain on the Kindertransport before the Second World War started, and was sent to Glasgow. He was interned during the war aged just 15 after writing a letter to his parents who were still in Germany. He was freed, he believes, after the intervention of MI5.

After the war he made his home in Scotland but was determined that he would give something back to the community that took him in. He has been a skier all his life and decided to put his skills good use by instructing servicemen who had lost limbs on how to ski - through the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association. Some of his pupils have been injured in Afghanistan.

"We take them for trips to the Austrian Tyrol, where they use specially adapted ski bikes. They have to be tough in the first place to do this and it has been proven to be beneficial to them both mentally and physically," Mr Wuga tells People. "I have trained 10 instructors over the years who are themselves amputees and now they are training more."

He is planning to take a party of 10 skiers and 10 helpers to the Austrian Tyrol. "The bikes can do between 30 and 40 miles an hour. But these men need a bit of danger. Sometimes we have to restrain them," he adds.

Last updated: 11:33am, October 7 2010