Lloyds TSB is combining its support for the 2012 Olympics and for the franchise industry by funding Jimmy Goddard in his bid to qualify for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

A former commando, Goddard is the son of Mike Goddard the founder and Chairman of lettings franchise Belvoir and past Chairman of the British Franchise Association. He is aiming to qualify for the Paratriathlon, which consists of a 750-metre swim, followed by a 20 kilometre handcycle, and a five kilometre wheelchair sprint to the finish line.

Lloyds TSB Commercial has provided Goddard with £5,000 funding to support his gruelling training regime.

Goddard was left paralysed and a wheelchair user in 2004 after suffering a spinal cord injury in a rock climbing accident. In 2006 he became the first successful paraplegic to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro unaided, and has won a string of paratriathlon medals including winning gold at the 2009 British Championships and silver at the 2009 European Championships.

Goddard said: “I am really delighted to gain Lloyds TSB Commercial as a major sponsor. The funding will enable me to compete regularly on the international stage this summer and at the Paratriathlon World Championships in Beijing in September.

“Paratriathlon is a relatively new sport and has just been given Paralympic status for Rio de Janeiro in 2016 where I hope to contend for a top medal position. Five years may seem like a long time away but in athletic terms it’s just round the corner at the end of the next Paralympic cycle. I have recently gained a place on the British Podium Squad and all focus is now towards South America.

“It’s a very exciting time in the sport and it’s good to be entering it with Lloyds TSB Commercial as a sponsor. The support provided by the bank is more than the sum of the funding; it is the focus, motivation and feeling of being backed by the team, which will give me the best possible chance of success.”

Richard Holden, Head of Franchising at Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: “Lloyds TSB is an official partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and through our Local Heroes programme we have supported many promising athletes in the build up to next year’s Games.

“Jimmy Goddard is an inspirational and talented young man and when we heard about his plans to represent Great Britain at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 we were compelled to help. Our sponsorship will ensure Jimmy can train and compete without financial worries and he is free to concentrate on achieving his own personal goals.”

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