AN INTREPID Basingstoke adventurer will be the guest speaker at this year’s A Place to be Proud of Awards.

James Ketchell will talk to those at the awards event on June 4 about his incredible achievements – rowing across the Atlantic solo, climbing Mount Everest, and cycling 18,000 miles around the world.

Whilst completing his challenges, James, who was told by doctors he would never walk again after he broke both legs in a motorbike accident in 2007, also raised money for The Elifar Foundation – a charity for children with disabilities.

Nina Muir, from Destination Basing-stoke, which organises the A Place to be Proud of Awards, said: “James will be talking about his experiences and the challenges he has faced. The focus and drive that he exudes is truly inspirational and motivational.

“He is a local man with such a special story, and he is the perfect speaker for an event that celebrates all our local heroes from all walks of life.

“We look forward to welcoming him along to this year’s A Place to be Proud of awards to help us celebrate the local heroes within our community.”

James is already preparing for his next challenge in 2015, when he will row across the Indian Ocean with a Scout leader who suffers from epilepsy.

He said: “I am delighted to be speaking at the A Place to be Proud of Awards. Having travelled all over the world, Basing-stoke will always be my home, and the support that I have received from the people of Basingstoke is greatly appreciated.”

A total of seven awards, covering various categories, will be presented at the ceremony, which will be held in The Haymarket theatre, in Wote Street, Basingstoke.