Nissan helps put Paralympics hopeful on road to Rio

WATER RESULT: Swimmer Matt Wylie, who is being sponsored by Nissan.
WATER RESULT: Swimmer Matt Wylie, who is being sponsored by Nissan.
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A SPORTSMAN is being steered towards his dream with the help of a major sponsor.

Athlete Matt Wylie has been given a boost to fulfil his dream of representing his country at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The 17-year-old swimmer, who attended London 2012 as part of the British Paralympic Association’s Paralympic Inspiration Programme, has been presented with am electric Nissan Leaf.

Nissan’s factory, just a stone’s throw from his home, is where his dad Mike has worked for 23 years.

The double European junior champion, who passed his driving test in April, will clock up hundreds of miles a week in the car – supplied by Wessington Way Nissan dealer Evans Halshaw – as he travels to sessions.

The car’s cost-saving features will also help him as he ups his efforts to be part of the squad in Rio and achieve his ultimate goal of bringing home gold.

Matt, who has cerebral palsy, said: “Just having a car to get around in is going to make my life so much easier and really help me with my training and preparation.

“I travel about 300 miles a week getting to training and physio sessions, and it’s important to arrive as fresh as I can.
 “There are charging points everywhere in the North East, so it’s going to save a lot of money, and the Leaf is so smooth and easy to drive, especially with my disability, that it’s going to help massively with my training.

“I also love the fact I can use my phone to de-ice the car on cold winter mornings and so won’t have to turn up at high intensity workout sessions freezing cold like I did last year.”

Mike, who works as an IT manager at Nissan, added: “It’s incredible and, looking back to the early days with Matt, I never thought I would see anything like this happen.

“My colleagues have been really supportive all the way.
They’re really happy for Matt and are always following his career.”

The partnership between the dealership and Matt was formed through Nissan’s role as the Official Automotive Partner of ParalympicsGB and Team GB.