Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Orange for Holland: friends campaign in Abu Dhabi for crash victim

Richard Holland was left in a vegetative state after being hit by a car while training for a triathlon.

Keep an eye out for the women in orange wigs when you go down to the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon tomorrow.

They are part of a group of 20 friends and colleagues who will be racing and campaigning to raise funds for Richard Holland.

During triathlon training last October, Mr Holland was peddling from his home in Motor City to the Al Qudra Road cycle track when he was hit by a car.

The impact of the crash left the 30-year-old in a vegetative state and he was repatriated to South Africa last month to continue his recovery.

Sam Whittam, friend of Mr Holland’s and general manager of Adventure HQ, said he was suffering from “locked-in syndrome”.

“He can see and hear everything but can’t respond. It’s really a hard thing,” said Mr Whittam.

Locked-in Syndrome, also known as cerebromedullospinal disconnection, is a state of complete-paralysis in which the victim is completely aware of his surrounding but unable to communicate.

The syndrome is the subject of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a French biopic that tells the real-life story of Jean-Dominique Bauby who eventually learnt to communicate through blinking.

To honour their fallen friend at Saturday’s race, some of Mr Holland’s friends will race with orange visors and T-shirts with the words “Back on Your Bike, People” – encapsulating Mr Holland’s never-surrender attitude.

Mr Holland competed in last year’s triathlon and finished the short course (1.5km swim, 100km bike and a 10km run) in the impressive time of 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Other friends will wear orange wigs and will circulate through the spectators selling orange wrists bands to raise money for Mr Holland’s treatment.

If you can’t find the wigged ladies, you can also visit the 2XU stand to buy a band.

Mr Whittam has already managed to raise Dh10,000 but says more is needed to ensure Mr Holland gets the equipment he needs and can move into an appropriate home.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 A model of the plans for Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District, which was on display at the Global Cityscape exhibition at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre last year. Ali Haider / EPA

Building the future on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island

Nick Leech meets Jassim Al Hammadi, the engineer charged with providing the services that will make the Saadiyat Cultural District tick.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 From left: Alex Ritman, his favorite waiter and friend Andy Tillett at Baithal Ravi in 2009. Courtesy Alex Ritman

Lamenting Bur Dubai’s Baithal Ravi Restaurant

When I heard that a fire had ripped through the restaurant known as Ravis in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai, my outburst was met with echoed monosyllabic despair among numerous friends on social media.

 Screen shot from Vin Deisel's facebook page of he and Michelle Rodriguez in Abu Dhabi for the filming of Fast & Furious 7. April 2014

Fast & Furious in Abu Dhabi, a social media frenzy

Fast & Furious 7 wraps up an eventful and much-anticipated week of filming in the capital. Let's take a look at what went on via the key players' social media, while they were enjoying the delights of the desert.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National