Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 13:52 UK

Young swimmer aims for 2016 Paralympics

By Will
From Newcastle, UK

Will had both his legs below the knee and part of his left arm amputated due to meningitis
Will uses prosthetic legs and running blades

I cope well with my day-to-day life and like the fact that I go to a main-stream school. To some people it may seem that my disability is pretty serious and extremely hard to live with.

At the age of two I had both of my legs below the knee and part of my left arm amputated due to meningitis. To me it just seems normal and I feel lucky to only have that amount of disability.

The school I go to helps me to lead as normal a life as possible and get away from the fact that I have a disability. I can be with my friends and can take part in normal lessons. My school has lifts so I can access all classrooms easily. It's a bit tricky when people try to get a free ride on my wheel chair.

I recently competed in the national junior disability swimming championships and won two gold medals, one silver medal and beat two of my personal best times.
Will

My favourite lesson is P.E. If you think that's surprising, I recently competed in the national junior disability swimming championships and won two gold medals, one silver medal and beat two of my personal best times. My ambition is to swim in the 2016 Paralympics. At the moment I swim regionally for the North-East in the disability squad. The coaches are brilliant.

I walk on two prosthetic legs. I also have running blades which you may have seen athletes wearing at the Paralympics. I can run and keep up with my friends when we run around in the school yard.

Having my prosthetic limbs helps me because I can access my friends homes and when I go to a restaurant or to the local cricket club because I can just walk up and ask at the bar for a bag of crisps and a drink.

When my legs are sore or tired and I can't use them, I use a wheelchair. I even pick up a lot of speed going down hill, it's all part of the fun!


Will's report is one of a series, produced for School Report's annual News Day.

Tony Grant, the producer of From Our Own Correspondent on the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4 comments: "For more than 50 years, From Our Own Correspondent has not only been examining the context and background to some of the stories in the news, it's also been hearing how people live their lives in other parts of the world.

Here, School Report brings us exciting contributions from the youngest-ever 'correspondents' and a unique insight into the very different challenges of growing up in a variety of countries. These young reporters explore what it's like coping in places torn apart by earthquake or war; living in a nation which imposes strict rules on its citizens or dealing with the problems which disability can bring.

As you will see, these young reporters approach their subjects with refreshing insight and honesty. Their reports make compelling reading."



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