Colin Duthie, named in the Shaw Trust’s Power Top 100 list and Disability Motorsport Scotland trustee, has chosen the award-winning TGA WHILL Model C to help deliver greater change for disabled people.
Rebuilding his life after a motor-biking accident in 1984, Colin has accumulated countless achievements to help individuals living with disabilities in Scotland and beyond.
Colin was 20-years old when he was hit by a lorry whilst stationary on his friend’s motorbike, which resulted in significant injury and loss of his right leg. Thanks to pioneering surgery, Colin's left leg was saved despite near complete amputation, however rehabilitation was a huge challenge. Nevertheless, with unwavering determination, Colin regained his zest for life and excelled as a Sports Development Officer for over 15 years at South Ayrshire Council.
But Colin didn’t stop there, his passion for sport has led to many other achievements including representing Great Britain and Scotland in para-dressage, fundraising £100,000 by climbing Ben Nevis in a wheelchair, establishing Disability Motorsport Scotland and setting a world record by pulling a 757 plane in a wheelchair (of course).
Now, as trustee and coach of this motorsport charity, Colin delivers accessible track day experiences for disabled individuals in an adapted full race specification Audi A3 Quattro. He is the only disabled Motorsport UK Level 2 coach in the UK and his talent for driving has resulted in a top four finish in the Racing Super Lap Scotland Championship. The Patron of Colin's charity is the famous Scottish Rally Driver Jimmy McRae.
Outside of motorsport, Colin is a motivational speaker, founder and President of South Ayrshire Tigers powerchair football team, trustee of Ayrshire Sportsability and Trustee/Chairman for the Carrick RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association). These diverse commitments demanded that Colin sought a powered wheelchair which would empower him further – hence his selection of a revolutionary WHILL Model C.
"In my position I need to be seen as a strong and empowered individual,” Colin says. “Product aesthetics are also so important to me.
“When I started researching powerchair options, as my shoulder strength is deteriorating, I was shocked, there are so many horrendous designs in my opinion. I was in tears with the options facing me until I discovered WHILL. I know my motorsport colleagues will be amazed by it and I'm prepared for lots of questions from attendees at our track days. I spent a lot of time reading testimonials and reviews before purchase, especially noting the motoring heritage of both the product and TGA. The fact that it has won many awards, including the Red Dot, means it is a world-class powerchair. Its manoeuvrability is second to none and I feel it is ideal for amputees due to its different centre of gravity. I may eventually lose my left leg as well but feel confident the WHILL will still offer the stability I need."
"The WHILL is ideal for people like me who can walk a wee-bit and have core strength but who struggle over longer distances,” Colin adds. “We don't need an all singing and dancing chair, just enough assistance to safely remain independent. Agility is key for me and the way the product looks, nothing compares to the WHILL. I've recently travelled to Glasgow to try out my WHILL in the city and it coped admirably. I know for sure if I had completed the same miles in my manual wheelchair it would have taken me two-to-three days to recover. Getting in and out of shops, art exhibitions and car parks was hassle free – WHILL is a game changer. When you have a disability, you will take any chance to gain that all-important feel-good factor. WHILL delivers this to me but more importantly, I now have the renewed vigour I need to push on with my charity work and campaigning missions – where there’s a WHILL, there’s a way!”