LNF Coaching

neil fachie mbe

I was born in Aberdeen and spent the first 25 years of my life there, before moving to Manchester to join up with British Cycling in 2009. At the age of 4, I was diagnosed with a visual impairment known as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). This is a degenerative condition that can affect people in many different ways. Currently I have some level of sight, my central vision is blurry, but useful. For instance I can see a large object, such as a double decker bus, from 100m away, but I can’t tell what number the bus is until it is right at the stop. For this same reason I also struggle with facial recognition. My peripheral vision is very poor and I particularly struggle in low level light. Walking around in an evening, street lights are not bright enough to illuminate the way for me, and so I am essentially blind. In recent years I have started using a white cane to help me get around when I need it.

I was always very sporty as a child. Its safe to say I am a very competitive person, and as I always had too much energy to burn, my parents would often encourage me to get involved in various activties. I tried all kinds of sports including swimming, gymnastics and trampolining. It was athletics though that I fell in love with. The freedom and simplicity of running as fast as you can really appealed to me. My passion for sport thrived during my teenage years, despite my complete lack of success. I loved challenging myself, beating my personal bests, as well as the social aspect.

It wasn’t until the final year of my university degree (Physics at the University of Aberdeen) that I got involved in International Sport. My eyesight had deteriorated to a point where I realised it was beginning to affect my sporting life. I had always assumed my vision was too good to be considered eligible for the Paralympics, I was wrong. Upon being classified as visually impaired, I was offered a place on the British Athletics Development Squad. Following on from a couple of seasons of solid results, the pinnacle came in 2008 when I was selected for the Paralympic Games in Beijing in the 100m and 200m. I finished 9th in both races, but most importantly, I was a Paralympian, and I had fallen in love with the Paralympics.

After returning from Beijing with renewed enthusiasm for the future, I received a phone call from my manager at British Athletics. They had decided that I didn’t have the potential to make it to London 2012 and so my funding was being terminated. The dream was over.

A dark few months in my life followed, I applied for many jobs, but to no avail, I found myself at the job centre on jobseekers allowance. One morning I woke with a feeling I hadn’t had in a long time, one of excitement and determination. I had fallen in love with the Paralympics, and in just 4 years time the Games were to take place in my own country, in London. I knew that I couldn’t bear to watch that on TV, I needed to be there. Researching every sport for visually impaired people in the Paralympics took a while, trying them all would be a real challenge. That was what I would have to do though in order to find a sport I was good enough at just to have a chance of making it to London 2012.

As a lifelong fan of cycling, that was the sport I was going to try first. To cut a long story short, things went well. After going through trial processes and my first few races, I made my way on to the British Cycling squad, and my life changed forever. I have represented ParalympicsGB, British Cycling and Team Scotland at various major championships over the years, picking up 22 medals, 17 of which are gold. I am a double World Record holder and in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List was awarded an MBE for services to cycling.

In 2009 I also met Lora, and we married in 2016 following the Rio Paralympics. Together we set up this business to help people achieve their full potential. It really frustrates me seeing individuals with all the talent in the world, who fail to deliver their best. I have been fortunate enough to spend many, many hours with top athletes, coaches and various experts. I have learned the techniques and skills required to reach the top, and to stay there for a prolonged period of time. I feel like its time to share that knowledge with the world, and nothing excites me more than being involved in the high stakes world of elite performance, be it in the sporting or business world.

cycling career

2009
World Championships – 1km TT – Gold – New WR
World Championships – Sprint – Gold – New WR

2011
World Championships – 1km TT – Gold
World Championships – Sprint – Gold – New WR

2012
World Championships – 1km TT – Silver
Paralympic Games – 1km TT – Gold – New WR
Paralympic Games – Sprint – Silver

2014
World Championships – 1km TT – Gold – New WR
World Championships – Sprint – Gold – New WR
Commonwealth Games – 1km TT – Gold
Commonwealth Games – Sprint – Gold

2015
World Championships – 1km TT – Gold
World Championships – Sprint – Gold

2016
World Championships – 1km TT – Gold
World Championships – Sprint – Gold
Paralympic Games – 1km TT – Silver

2017
World Championships – 1km TT – Silver
World Championships – Sprint – Silver

2018
World Championships – 1km TT – Gold
World Championships – Sprint – Gold
Commonwealth Games – 1km TT – Gold
Commonwealth Games – Sprint – Gold – New WR

2019
World Championships – 1km TT – Silver
World Championships – Sprint – Gold