Olympic dream Inspires recovery

inspiresd'Progress at the Olympic Park in Stratford, London,  at the begining of February 2011. Pictured is Peter Wilkinson.
inspiresd'Progress at the Olympic Park in Stratford, London, at the begining of February 2011. Pictured is Peter Wilkinson.
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A SOUTH Yorkshire man who is recovering from a brain tumour was among a group of people who visited London’s Olympic and Paralympic Park for an exclusive tour of the site.

Barnsley man Peter Wilkinson, who is involved in the On Track project – which uses sport and physical activity to inspire young people recovering from cancer – was joined by Sheffield teenager Adam Purvis, from the city’s Academy of Young Leaders in Sport organisation, and others from across the region.

The trip was organised as part of the Inspire programme, which offers a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity for people across Yorkshire to be part of the 2012 Games.

Peter, aged 24, suffered nerve damage to his feet and a loss of peripheral vision due to the brain tumour but has recently managed to swim unaided thanks to the On Track project.

He said the London visit had also provided a real boost to his recovery.

“It has been really inspiring to be able to see where the Olympics will take place and has given me the extra ‘oomph’ I need to get myself fit after my cancer treatment,” he said.

“I was seeing it from a Paralympics point of view because of my disabilities now and it gave me a real boost to try to improve my fitness.”

Adam, a pupil at High Storrs School, said he had enjoyed the visit so much he now planned to put his name down for young volunteering opportunities at the Olympics.

He said: “It was just an amazing experience to see for real what everybody has been talking about and to see how it is coming together as a real project.”

Also on the visit was 24-year-old British diver Ben Swain, who trains in Sheffield and is working hard to win a place at the 2012 Games. He chatted to them about his debut Olympic experiences at Beijing in 2008 and how they had inspired him as he moves forward in his career.