Ready to go that extra mile

As many of you will know, rarely has a day gone by that I didn’t mention an injury, niggle or pain since completing the 2001 London Marathon.

Well I can confirm that three operations down the line, and with my latest sporting comeback complete, that will all stop following what I can only describe as an uplifting, no inspiring, meeting with Israel’s most famous Paralympian.

Noam Gershony wasn’t comfortable talking about the day he was involved in a fatal helicopter crash at London 2012, but he gave a warts and all tale to a captivated audience, relieving how he overcame all the odds following an accident that saw his co-pilot killed.

He told me this week that virtually every bone in his body was broken and the memory of two of his closest allies inspired him to come back from the dead and win gold.

Few people know the real meaning of the word pain like Noam. He is an inspiration to us all, a wonderful ambassador for Israel and proof, if ever there was, of the motto ‘impossible is nothing’.

He has overcome every hurdle in life, and done it with great dignity.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up watching Noam watch himself receive gold at Stratford and break down in tears during Hatikvah, when the enormity of what he had achieved hit home. It has been one hell of a journey.

As for me, I’m back playing cricket and, due to Noam’s words of wisdom, have agreed to participate in the Maccabi GB Fun Run later this month. If you’re able to, I believe everyone should try to go that extra mile.

* North West Neasden A have started the search for a new manager after Daniel Hodes told the club he will be stepping down at the end of the season. Club stalwart Hodes has helped NWN survive a testing campaign in Division One of the JC MSFL.

He said: "My decision isn’t based on the fact that it’s been hard, at times, to get a team out, nor because we have struggled when we have turned up. It’s purely and simply because I can’t bear the heartache and torture of turning up, being so close to the pitch and not being able to get on it.

"My back has deteriorated to near chronic at times and until it gets fixed I’ll be away from Sunday morning football."

* Having stepped down as first-team coach at London Lions, it’s great to see the highly-regarded Darren Yarlett join David Pollock’s squad for the Open Football competition at the 19th Maccabiah Games.

Last updated: 10:55am, May 17 2013