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Alan battles back for equality race
ALAN Wilkinson’s parents were warned he would never walk or talk.
He had to be resuscitated at birth, having been born three months prematurely, and the future, doctors told his family, was bleak.
But Mr Wilkinson, who lives in Ringwood, surprised them all by making a miraculous recovery and later overcame a curvature of the spine.
Now the 43-year-old, who has learning difficulties and attends the Stable Family Home Trust in Ringwood, is gearing up for a charity run.
Mr Wilkinson’s life changed when he spotted a poster for Access Dorset’s Race for Equality, a 3km or 5km event in Boscombe, three years ago and began training.
He joined a gym and took up athletics to get fit enough for the event, and this year he has even rallied 40 of his family and friends to join him.
He said: “I want everyone to take part in the race so Access Dorset makes thousands of pounds to help other people take part in sport.
“I enjoy the training and love getting a medal at the end of the race.”
His father, also called Alan, said: “The Race for Equality has made a radical difference to Alan.
“Before that he didn’t do much exercise at all – now he’s in the gym three times a week and he runs regularly. His asthma has improved, he’s grown in confidence and he’s lost almost four stone.
“It’s amazing to think that through sport he has found such independence and joy. He’s proved such a hit at Ringwood Sports Centre that they’ve even given him a part time job in the gym.”
The Race for Equality will be held at 2pm this Saturday, and will bring together disabled, non-disabled, older people and carers for a walk, run, wheel or swim from Boscombe Pier to Southbourne and back.
Money raised will help the charity Access Dorset to provide information, advice and support to disabled and older people in the county. To sign up call 01202 771336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .