Portsmouth teenager completes Great South Wheelchair event

The wheelchair event at the Great South Run
The wheelchair event at the Great South Run
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A TEENAGER did not let her disability stop her from completing the Great South Wheelchair Event.

Alexandra Newton, from Portsmouth, was one of only seven people selected to take part in the first ever race on Sunday.

Alexandra Newton

Alexandra Newton

The one-mile course took place alongside the Great South Run, in Southsea.

Alexandra, 16, has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and was trained in preparation for the event by Paralympic coach Rick Hoskins.

She said: ‘I really enjoyed taking part.

‘This was my first ever wheelchair racing event so it was really special for me.

‘We’ve all been really supportive of each other. The atmosphere and support has been amazing.

‘This is a really good initiative so I hope there are more events like this in the future.

‘I definitely want to carry on wheelchair racing, 100 per cent.’

The Great South Wheelchair Event was launched by Simplyhealth, which sponsored the Great South Run, and The Great Run Company.

It forms part of Simplyhealth’s #millionsmoving campaign.

The campaign aims to encourage participation in disability sport and to get more people moving.

Paralympic coach Rick Hoskins, who helped Alexandra and her six fellow participants prepare for the event, said: ‘Everybody did themselves proud.

‘My final piece of advice to the participants was to go out and enjoy it – it’s not about a race, it’s about participating in an event and enjoying it.

‘Initiatives like this are so important.

‘It’s events like these that help us find the Paralympians of the future.’

As previously reported in The News more than 20,000 people descended on the seafront to take part in the Great South Run last weekend.

The event is the biggest 10-mile course in the world and sees elite athletes compete alongside people wanting to raise money for charity.

Strong winds of up to 50mph and heavy rain called off Saturday’s Mini, Junior and 5km Great South Run events affecting 3,000 people.