Sunderland athlete selected for Duathlon World Championships

Matthew Fearn, 19, who has just qualified for the World Age Group Duathlon Championships being held this summer in Spain.
Matthew Fearn, 19, who has just qualified for the World Age Group Duathlon Championships being held this summer in Spain.
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A TEENAGER bidding for sporting glory is looking for sponsorship to make sure he can represent his country.

Roker’s Matthew Fearn found out this week that he has qualified for the age group competition of the Duathlon World Championships in Pontevedra, north west Spain, this June.

The event will see participants run, then cycle for the middle leg of the race before jumping off their bikes for a second running section.

Despite 19-year-old Matthew being overjoyed at knowing he now has a shot at international glory representing Great Britain, it will come at a price.

Parents Paul and Tracey, who is a fund-raiser for pet charity PDSA, have helped out financially so far, but paying for the necessary equipment so that Matthew can compete on the continent is something the family cannot do alone.

He is now calling on Sunderland businesses to help sponsor him to pay for travel and kit costs.

The former Monkwearmouth School pupil who is taking a year out from studying physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University, in Edinburgh, said: “I’m totally self-funded so it’s a lot of money to spend for a student.

“I’ve had help to get me to this stage but I need more.”

Dad Paul, a retired 51-year-old, said: “Matthew’s had a bit of sponsorship from Gentoo and Sunderland City Council, which we are grateful for, but for him to compete in this is going to cost us a fortune.

“I want him to represent Great Britain so much but the cost of doing so makes it extremely hard.

“Me and his mam have just bought his bike, but we can’t afford any more. Now, we are just hoping someone else can help him out.”

Matthew qualified after an impressive showing at a national standard qualifier in Morpeth, in Northumberland, where he finished second.

He was later sent an email to say he had made the cut for this summer’s prestigious event.

“The distances for Pontevedra haven’t been released yet but it should be a 5k run, then a 24k bike ride and another 3k run,” added Matthew, who is a member of the Coalfields Race Team and trains at Washington Leisure Centre.

“I stepped up my training programme over the winter and it’s shown because now I’m going to be representing my country.”

To contact Matthew about sponsorship, call 07840659015.