A TEENAGER is hoping to fulfill his dreams of Paralympic glory with the support of Wearsiders.
Aidan Turnbull is representing Team GB at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Manchester this week, where he hopes to be spotted by scouts.
The 18-year-old, who is a health and social care student at City of Sunderland College, has been selected by UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disabilities, and fund-raising is going on to help him compete in as many events as possible.
He is with the British team competing at the 7th INAS World Indoor International Athletics Championships until Saturday and is running in the 60m, 200m and the 4x200m relay.
Aidan, from Washington, said: “I was absolutely speechless when I found out I had been selected. It was a dream come true and I’m so excited to be competing. London 2012 Paralympic selectors will be at the event picking the team for the summer so I’m desperate to do well.”
Diabetic Aidan, who also has learning difficulties which affect reading and writing, has previously travelled with Mencap to France to represent England at the European International Indoors Championship, but a lack of funds prevented him competing in a similar event in Italy.
Helping Aidan raise much needed funds has been Richard Marshall, disability advisor and Aidan’s personal tutor at the college.
Richard said: “Aidan is an incredibly dedicated athlete and student, supported by fantastic parents.
“We’re raising money to help Aidan enter as many competitions as he can to increase his chances of Paralympic selection.”
Staff and pupils have helped raise nearly £1,000 so far.
Aidan’s mother, Connie Turnbull, said: “We’re immensely proud of Aidan and do everything we can to help him succeed.”
Anyone interested in donating to or sponsoring Aidan should contact Richard Marshall on 511 6622.
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