A wheelchair racer with hopes of glory at the 2016 Paralympics has been given a sponsorship push.
Oliver Taylor is the fourth-fastest wheelchair racer in the country, and hopes a £1,000 funding boost from his employer will help him power his way up the ranks.
The 24-year-old, who often uses a wheelchair to get around due to having cerebral palsy, trains five days a week - with training buddies including Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft.
He said: “I have been participating in sports for the past five years.
“I started off as a wheelchair basketball player, then in 2010 I got invited to Brunel University where they were holding a taster day and trials to find up-and-coming athletes for the 2012 Paralympics. That’s where I met my wheelchair racing coach. He invited me to try out wheelchair racing and I switched sports.”
Oliver, who has recently moved to Ridgeway, Sheffield, from Chesterfield, had to halt training for surgery in 2011, meaning he missed out on London 2012. However, he now has his sights set on Rio 2016 and is covering anything from 10K to 12 miles in one training session.
“My arms are a bit tired afterwards! I’m just starting the next season and trying to improve my times. If I get into the top three of the UK I stand a chance of being selected for the GB team, and at the moment I’m fourth. If it goes well you never know - 2016 is a possibility.”
Oliver, who is in the top 20 in the world for the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m events, is always seeking sponsorship, and completed a fundraising skydive 18 months ago.
His £1,000 boost from his employer, Sainsbury’s in Chesterfield, where he works as a customer services assistant, will go towards a new specially-adapted racing wheelchair.