Trust backs Ben’s race to the Paralympics

A STUDENT’S goal to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics has received support from his college’s charity.

Ben Callander, who is 16 and from Penketh, has been awarded £1,000 from the Priestley Education & Training Trust to help pay for the costs of travelling to Switzerland for two training camps this year.

“There are some fast tracks in Switzerland so I am looking to improve my time so that I can get funding from British athletics,” said Ben, who studies Public Services and English GCSE at Priestley.

“I need to knock about a second off my time and this money is going to help me continue the training I need to achieve that goal.”

Ben began wheelchair racing in 2013 after watching the sport at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Inspired by British wheelchair racer David Weir, he began training and then competing in the T33 classification – one of four categories for wheelchair athletes with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects independent movement.

Principal Matthew Grant said the Priestley Education & Training Trust was set up to help students like Ben.

“Not only is Ben doing well in his studies he is also striving to succeed on an international level in his chosen sport,” he said.

“PETT aims to support our students – both past and present – when they are in need whether that is to pursue academic or sporting excellence or simply to continue their education in some way.”

Ben’s condition means he requires a walking aid and wheelchair to get around, but he has not let this hold him back.

He trains at Victoria Park and at David Lloyd in Warrington whilst also putting in hours at home on rollers that act like a treadmill.

Next year he hopes to study Sport at Priestley College and aspires to become a coach himself one day.

If you would like to sponsor Ben to help him secure his goal of competing in the Paralympics, email ben.callander1@icloud.com

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