A teenager with autism and ADHD completed a one-day run from Salisbury to Swindon to fund a sports scholarship for another young person.

Cameron Jacobs and his mum Polly ran from Salisbury to Swindon along the Great Stones Way on July 17 to raise money to provide a scholarship for The True Athlete Project.

They completed the 70km run in eight hours 41 from Salisbury to Swindon along The Great Stones Way.

Over the last two years the 16-year-old has been mentored by Paralympic Judo gold medallist, Chris Skelley, as part of The True Athlete Project and was keen for another person to benefit from the scheme.

Mum Polly said: “It was truly the most incredible and memorable day for both of us. We both feel completely overwhelmed by the support we have had.

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"Our amazing running team some of whom braved a really early start, others of whom ran in the hotter conditions; the four pubs who hosted us for proper rests and refuelling; the enormous generosity of people who have sponsored us; friends who have spent many running hours with me checking out the route in the build up to the challenge; my husband and my other two children who supported us throughout the day.”

On their journey, the pair were spurred on by family and other supports who were waving them on. Polly’s two other children also played Chariots of Fire on their trumpets as they approached the canal path.

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Polly said: “We both surprised ourselves with finding the mental and physical strength to just keep running and honestly the incredible support of our co-runners on each stage and our support team, really did keep our spirits up throughout. We really were smiling from start to finish.

A highlight for Cameron was being able to meet his mentor Chris in person for the very first time. Prior to this they had only ever spoken over Zoom.

His mentor Chris did his own rowing challenge to support Cameron and was expecting to meet him at the end of his run. But instead his mum had arranged for Chris to surprise him at Barbury Castle in Swindon and join Cameron for the final three miles of the route.

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Cameron said: “My mum had planned for Chris to be at the top of Barbury Castle to meet me on the penultimate stage and run the final three miles with me, but she didn't tell me he was going to be there so this was a complete surprise and the first time I had met my mentor in person which was brilliant.”

Chris then hosted all the final stage runners for snacks and drinks at his home and gave them the chance to see his Paralympic gold medal and MBE.

Polly says they were “absolutely thrilled” to have completed the challenge adding: “I am very proud of Cameron, he has faced so many challenges in his life and I hope he has given others, especially those with hidden disabilities, the belief that anything is possible.”

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So far, £1,655.11 has been raised exceeding their initial goal of raising £950.

Polly added: “This is enough for one youngster to be mentored for a year as part of The True Athlete Project. We have almost raised enough for two youngsters to receive a scholarship. We can't thank people enough for their generosity.”

To make a donation visit: https://donorbox.org/cameron-chris-fundraiser


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