Gary Turner a former Lakes college student from Whitehaven, who has cerebral palsy and has been wheelchair bound most of his life decided last month to set himself a challenge of walking a mile for Sport Relief to raise money for Cumbria cerebral palsy.
Gary has been using the gym at Lakes College for many years and decided last year that he would like to try and start using the treadmill, which is how his idea for his challenge began. The very next week the staff at the Activzone gym decided to surprise Gary by assisting him to walk on the treadmill.
Gary has committed himself to walking two days a week ever since and his progress has been amazing. It has taken Gary eight sessions to complete the challenge.
Today Gary managed to amaze everybody at the college, including his dad (Michael Turner), Jane Brown (from Cumbria cerebral palsy) and members of staff from the college by completing the challenge and raising over £1000 of his original £100 target. The support Gary has received both from staff at Lakes college and online from friends, family and the local community has been outstanding.
Gary was full of smiles and laughter before and after completing his challenge today and stated “the challenge started as a joke and I didn’t think I would be able to complete it, I couldn’t have done it without help from the staff at the gym, they deserve the credit not me. I have found the challenge hard but enjoyed it and the support has been amazing, raising money for an excellent cause. My future goal is to continue walking and gradually increase the distance”.
Leon Thompson who works at the Activzone gym at Lakes College and regularly trains and assists Gary with his fitness goals proudly stated “Gary is brilliant as he will have a go at anything, he has attempted to use the majority of the equipment in the gym here, some of which has had us all in fits of laughter. It has been a pleasure to help Gary through this challenge and I’m so proud to witness him finish it. He is a great example of what a positive mindset can help you achieve.”
Gary’s dad recognised Gary’s determination from a young age when Gary managed to complete the Cumbrian run twice (with help from both his dad and uncle pushing his wheelchair) raising a lot of money for his local primary and secondary schools he attended at a younger age.
Well done Gary, you are an inspiration to us all and we are so proud!