While many teenagers wrestled with boredom and probably spent one too many hours watching YouTube during lockdown, one young Shetland man set himself a challenge. Fifteen-year-old Brynn Hauxwell from Mid Yell decided to push himself 1,679 miles – the equivalent of Shetland’s coastline – in his wheelchair to raise money for Ability Shetland.
Brynn, who has a range of debilitating mobility issues, originally planned to complete the Hadrian’s Wall Cycle route by wheelchair. But, because of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions and his need to shield due to severe asthma, he decided to set himself an alternative challenge instead.
“We had to think of what we could achieve if we were unable to go past our garden gate,” says Brynn’s mum Kim. “We ordered Brynn an Invictus Active Trainer, which is like a manual treadmill on rollers to keep him active during lockdown. Brynn’s initial idea was to push himself the length of Shetland, but he realised that it wouldn’t take him too long to complete it and wanted to do something that would last throughout lockdown. So, he decided he wanted to push himself virtually the full 1,679 miles of Shetland's coastline.”
As mentioned, Brynn is doing the challenge for Ability Shetland, an organisation close to his heart. The charity supports people all over Shetland, including providing children’s clubs, sports clubs, boat trips and the use of adapted equipment for locals and visitors to use to explore what Shetland has to offer. Last year Brynn was able to try one of Ability Shetland’s all-terrain trikes, which changed not only his life but his whole family’s lives, too.