A WHEELCHAIR racer’s hopes of competing at the Rio Paralympic Games have been given a boost after receiving a scholarship of £600 from the University of Worcester.
Ben Oliver, who has cerebral palsy, is training six days a week in preparation for the International Paralympic Committee’s ‘Grand Prix’ event in Switzerland in May, in the hope of securing a place with the Great Britain squad in Brazil.
The first year ‘Sports Coaching Science with Disability Sport’ student from Bodmin in Cornwall, was given the scholarship to help with the costs of his training.
He was also the recipient of an entry scholarship to the university in recognition of his outstanding grades at Truro College.
Mr Oliver still needs to raise a further £600 to pay for the trip to Switzerland and is also trying to raise funds for a new wheelchair to help in his Paralympic quest.
“The scholarship will be a huge help in allowing me to attend the Swiss Para Athlete Championships in May,” said the 20-year-old.
“This will be my first international competition and will allow me to compete against some of the best athletes in the world, but it also means I can potentially get called up by British Athletics as a member of the Great Britain team. A once in a lifetime opportunity.
“Juggling study with training is a challenge, but one I’m enjoying. I’m really ramping up my training now and I’m aiming for a world ranking in Switzerland.
“There are a few athletes on the circuit who I’ve got to up my game against, but I am feeling good, so I’ve everything to go for.
“As I’ve adapted my racing style I’ve had to modify my current chair. I did the work myself, but it’s not perfect and it would be so much better to have a custom-built chair to really aid my racing,” he added.
Visit Mr Oliver’s ‘gofundme’ page at www.gofundme.com/4tk69ftt to donate or for more information.