Gavin's story

From: Ayr, Scotland
Age: 15
Profession: Student

“I was absolutely delighted when I discovered that race-runners were being encouraged to register for Parallel London so I signed up immediately I received the email informing me about the event! I am going to do the 10k as I have never done one before and I wanted to challenge myself!

“I was born with ataxic cerebral palsy which affects my speech, my balance and my fine and gross motor skills. I first discovered race-running when I was five, and I instantly fell in love with the freedom and the speed that the running bike enabled me to have. Race-running has given me so much! It has increased my fitness, my confidence, my social interaction, and most importantly, it has changed my life!

“I would say my biggest achievement is winning four gold medals and breaking four world records at the 2014 IWAS World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville. Also, in 2014, I was part of the Commonwealth Queen's Baton Relay - a moment which I am very proud of.

“The support for race-running has been incredible. Ten years ago, I was the only one who owned a running bike in Scotland and now there is around 90 running bikes in approximately 11 locations within Scotland. My parents and my sister are amazing!!! In 2010, they set up a race-running club in my hometown which now plays a significant role in the development of race-running both nationally and internationally, sacrificing their own personal time to promote and develop this amazing sport!

“I consider myself to be very lucky to have the substantial support that I have behind me and have the right facilities and equipment that allow me to participate in a sport that I love! However, this is not the reality for many people. Many people are denied the chance to take part in sport. That may be because they have a lack of equipment or facilities surrounding them, or even there is nobody to take them to activities. I think it is really important to highlight this and I think that Parallel London is an amazing initiative that can help change a lack of access to sport for many people!

“Race-running is growing rapidly both here and abroad! The number of countries actively participating in the sport has doubled over the past three years. It is starting to spread to England, Wales and Ireland too. A few race-runners are going to be at Parallel London as well!

“My ultimate dream is for race-running to be included in the Paralympic Athletics Programme and I would love to compete in race-running myself at the Paralympics. I am pleased to say that discussions are taking place with the IPC regarding race-running's potential Paralympic inclusion in the future!!!”

My goal: #roadto race-running in the Paralympics

Top tip: My favourite training motto is "strive to achieve" because I have found that I am way more motivated if I have a goal in mind that I can focus on. Whether it's a certain time that I want to achieve or a target that I want to reach at a championship.