Award-winning sports enthusiast Adam Hayes has already won medals at boccia events, a target ball sport similar to petanque and bowls. As a keen footie fan and Chelsea supporter, the 20-year-old also enjoys a bit of hockey and football too. So it’s no surprise to his mates that he’s participating in the second ever Brighton Marathon next month.
Not only is Adam adding another string to his sporting bow, but he’s making history – Adam will be the first participant in a wheelchair to complete the 26-mile course.
I heard about about Adam after I wrote about the bureaucratic wrangle involving a housemate of his at Fethneys, the Leonard Cheshire Disability home he lives in Worthing, West Sussex.
Joining Adam on the start line on April 10th and pushing him along the course will be three Fethneys care staff, Gavin Parrish, Ollie Orchard and Lucie Hammond.
Adam Hayes, seated, the first wheelchair participant in the Brighton Marathon , pictured with (l-r) marathon teammates Ollie, Lucie and Gavin
The foursome is aiming to raise a target of £2,000 for Fethneys, which accommodates 10 young disabled people at a time, teaching them life skills like cooking, managing bills or cleaning and supporting them towards independent living.
“I feel very honoured to be the first wheelchair user in the whole of the country to take part in the Brighton Marathon,” says Adam. He adds of his boccia playing, “I competed in the GB championships and have won medals in regional and national athletics competitions. I also take part in wheelchair hockey and wheelchair football as a hobby.”
Moving into Fethneys five months ago from a local specialist college for disabled people, Adam says he loves his new home: “The staff here are teaching me the skills I need to live totally independently. Thanks to Fethneys I am really looking forward to living in my own flat in the near future – they are helping me to make my dream become a reality.”
To sponsor Adam, Lucie, Gavin, and Ollie visit their fundraising page.
Leonard Cheshire Disability has places on the 10 mile Great South Run on 30 October 2011. Contact the events team at events@LCDisability.org,