Derbyshire student told he would never walk defies odds to become a skiier

Alex Clarke
Alex Clarke

A North Derbyshire student told he would never walk will fulfil a lifetime ambition when he enters a slalom skiing event.

Alex Clarke, from Dronfield, was born with diplegic cerebral palsy, but has never let his disability be an obstacle.

The superfit student’s hard work is set to pay off as he prepares to take on competitors in the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing’s race league in the Netherlands.

Alex, aged 22, said: “What you can achieve is all about perspective, you can always get something out of something.

“It might not be the most obvious route, but there is always the possibility to achieve.

“The only limit you have is the one set yourself.”

Alex’s parents, Adrian, 60, and 66-year-old Ann, invested time in helping him walk and by the time he was aged six he had defied experts and was walking with the aid of a little frame.

He learned to balance on a trial bike and hard work led to him progressing to crutches.

Alex got into skiing when he joined the snowsports team at Central Lancashire University, in Preston, and discovered adaptive skiing.

He started with sit-skiing and quickly progressed to four-track skiing, which uses two skis in your feet and two outriggers for balance.

Alex, who is pursuing a career in business, said: “I would love to be able to ski full-time and be paid to do it, but I also need a career.

“At the moment I am looking for sponsorship and if anybody can help they can contact me via my blog”