John Jenkins MBE, 68 from Wallingford, is a retired Team GB disabled swimmer and table tennis star that now owns a rugged Top Gear winning Breeze S4 so he can continue enjoying outdoor pursuits in rural Oxfordshire.
John has used a wheelchair since the age of five when he was diagnosed with Polio. Nevertheless this condition has not stopped him from living a life full of achievement. He completed a successful 25-year career in IT fulfilling several senior positions at blue chip corporations such as IBM and ICL before setting up his own business. Outside of work, John has always led an active lifestyle with a love of sport and outdoor pursuits. In addition to fly-fishing in many countries around the world, John competed at the top level of wheelchair table tennis and swimming for over 10 years - representing Great Britain at the 1984 Paralympics. He also represented his country at several World Championships in both sports achieving a bronze in Breaststroke.
Since retirement from competitive sport and a full-time career, John now focuses more on his charity work for SportsAble. SportsAble promotes awareness of disability through sport and encourages the integration of disabled and able-bodied people. John's invaluable work for this charity that spans over 40 years was formally recognised in 2015 with a MBE from The Queen.
Despite John's zest for life, accessing the countryside has always presented a challenge in a wheelchair until he discovered the TGA Breeze S4 mobility scooter (dark grey limited edition). This rugged 8mph machine became famous nationwide following its appearance on the BBC 2 Top Gear TV programme. A disabled war veteran, competing against the Top Gear presenters at that time, successfully drove it to the top of a rugged hillside in the Brecon Beacons. Its off-road capabilities, extra traction and proven performance now give John the chance to fulfill his love of the outdoors. Once his new trailer is available, John will also have extra mobility when attending sporting events in connection with SportsAble.
John said: "I first discovered the TGA Breeze at The Mobility Roadshow this year where the model was available for test drives. Previously I had spent some time researching scooters with off-road capabilities however most others just looked at bit clumsy or were uncomfortable. I needed a scooter that was capable of tackling fields and from experience of joining the Disabled Ramblers on a ramble, I thought a
TGA might be the one for me. On riding the Breeze at Donington Park for the first time I was immediately sold, it was a very smart machine with good suspension. Rachel from TGA was extremely helpful when I was whizzing around their test track."
John adds: "Since ownership I have been very impressed with its performance on the initial runs I have attempted. Much more is planned in the future as I cannot wait to explore the neighbouring Thames footpath. My love of wildlife, especially birds, will be fulfilled I'm sure and fishing could be on the agenda too."