A former Royal Marines Commando has given his Rio 2016 Paralympics kit to his sponsor, as a show of appreciation for their support.

Joe Townsend was severely injured in a blast while serving in Afghanistan in 2008.

He lost both his legs, and underwent years of rehabilitation. He then put himself through a gruelling training regime, as he developed himself into an elite athlete. 

He was picked to represent Team GB at the Rio Paralympics last year, and is now aiming for the Tokyo 2020 podium spots.

He presented his triathlon suit to his sponsor Atkins, at the launch of an alumni group for Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award winners.

The cost of competing at the highest level can be prohibitively high for many, with specialist equipment needed costing thousands of pounds, so the financial support of a sponsor can be vital for a career in adaptive sport.

The alumni group consists of around 50 companies which have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and have been recognised for their commitment to its aims.

The group will share best practice in fulfilling the aims of the Covenant amongst its members, and will work in partnership with the Ministry of Defence.

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