Loss of leg no bar to surf medals

By Ben Irwin

Scott Martlew is competing in his third surf lifesaving national championships since losing his left leg. Photo / Alan Gibson
Scott Martlew is competing in his third surf lifesaving national championships since losing his left leg. Photo / Alan Gibson

Scott Martlew hasn't let the loss of a leg stop him doing what he loves.

The 21-year-old surf canoeist will compete in the national surf lifesaving championships, which started at Ohope Beach in Bay of Plenty yesterday and run until Sunday.

The Christchurch man lost his left leg in 2010 after catching a flesh-eating disease from a cut he sustained while playing for the Shirley Boys High School rugby 1st XV.

At the 2010 championships, before he lost his leg that winter, Mr Martlew's four-man surf canoe team from South Brighton Lifesaving Club won gold and silver medals in the under-19 class.

After time off recovering, he returned at the 2011 championships, winning gold and silver medals with the same team.

"I just kept doing everything that I was doing before [losing his leg], so it's been quite good."

He said the loss of his leg did not affect his canoeing too much, but it did take some getting used to.

His team have high hopes of claiming medals again this year.

Mr Martlew is one of almost 1400 competitors at the event.

- NZ Herald

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