An ‘inspirational’ youngster has shown he will not let his rare disability hold him back by taking part in a triathlon to help others with the same condition.
Partially–sighted Wilson Williams, aged ten, took part in the Bamburgh Castle Triathlon, in Northumberland, at the weekend, raising £1,685 for Nystagmus Network.
The Darley Dale youngster suffers from nystagmus, which only affects one in 10,000 children in the country and means he suffers from involuntary movements in his eyes.
A lover of sport, Wilson decided to start training for the challenge when he could no longer play cricket at school because he could not see the ball properly.
Dad, Mark Williams, said: “The reason this triathlon started was because he couldn’t see the ball travelling towards him in cricket.”
While his friends were practicing cricket, the plucky boy trained by himself.
“He’s done it all himself,” Mark continued. “He’s an inspiration.”
The triathlon started with a 300 metre swim in the North Sea and Wilson struggled with the cold temperature.
He said: “I trained very hard for the triathlon and felt very strong, however I struggled with the open water swimming as I practiced in a pool and the Mediterranean.
“Dipping into the North Sea wasn’t a pleasant surprise and I have learnt something for next time.”
Next, he had to run about 300 metres up a sand dune, get changed out of his wet suit, and start the cycling portion of the challenge.
Wilson said: “My biggest fear was removing my wet suit and it got stuck on my feet, but eventually I managed to get it off.”
He completed six laps of a field on his bike, then another five laps by running.
“The total length of the challenge was about six kilometres,” his proud dad said.
“Afterwards he was so tired but elated. He had a grin on his face from ear to ear for about four hours.
“It was a difficult enough ask for a normal kid to do, but because of his eyes it was a major thing for him to do.”
This isn’t the first thing Wilson has done to help fellow nystagmus sufferers. The youngster previously volunteered to take part in studies into the illness undertaken at University College Hospital, in London.
He has also championed an iPad app at school, enabling him to read what is written on the white board, which is now being used by other students with the same problem.
Mark added: “He’s very determined when it comes to helping other people – he’s a selfless little character.”
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