Martin, meanwhile, spent four months in hospital, several months shorter than doctors had first predicted. Two years ago, in a bid to raise £1m for the Spinal Injuries Association, Martin defied the odds to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s tallest mountain – and become only the second paraplegic to do so. He posed with his United flag atop the mountain to celebrate his remarkable achievement.


Academy staff were clearly inspired by the talk, which emphasised several crucial messages centring on making the most of every day, proactively taking on challenges and change, and focusing on what you can achieve with what you’ve got.


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