Right on track- inspired after a weekend of athletics
This weekend more than 250 young disabled athletes enjoyed an action-packed athletics competition. Held at UCLAN Sports Arena in Preston, the future stars showcased their talent on track and field. Among the participants, some potential Paralympians going for gold.
Organised by Disability Sport Events, an English Federation of Disability Sport programme, the event has been a regular on the calendar for decades. The athletes are aged between 12 and 20 and come from across the country to test their talent against their peers.
Among the weekend's excellent performances were the two winners of the best boy and best girl trophies. Denisha Marshall Brown (Herne Hill AC) from Greater London and David Odulana (Hastings AC), who represented the South East region.
Competing in the T20 category for athletes with a learning disability, David set some fantastic times to walk away with victories in the T20 100, 200 and 400m races. At the age of just 14, and competing at the event for the first time, Denisha, who is visually impaired, threw a huge 12.7m in the shot put to take home gold. She then followed it up with victories in the discus and 100m events.
Many Paralympic champions such as Shelly Woods, Hannah Cockroft and Aled Davies have taken part in the DSE event as part of their pathway to international success. Hopefully Denisha and David will use their success at this event to follow in international glory.
The event has been supported for over 20 years by the Lions Club International who not only provide financial support but also a large number of volunteers. Every year they recognise one athlete who shows brilliant potential. Presented by Ian Clare, MOD Lions Liaison Office, this year’s Endeavour Trophy was awarded to Muninder Singh Hayer from the West Midlands.
As well as aiming for personal success, the athletes also compete on behalf of their regions for a chance to win the hotly contested Graham Bool Trophy. In an extremely tight competition, the trophy was collected by the East region, who were challenged throughout the weekend by the North East.
DSE would like to thank the Lions Club International, UCLAN, Gerflor and all the volunteers who supported the event. All DSE volunteers work tirelessly to ensure the event runs smoothly.