Havant wheelchair athlete coached by Paralympic athlete David Weir to abseil 560ft Spinnaker Tower to raise cash for The Elizabeth Foundation at Cosham

A DETERMINED disabled athlete is preparing to abseil a city landmark to raise hundreds of pounds for a children’s charity.

By Hollie Busby
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 12:27 pm

Eden Rainbow-Cooper, from Havant, is an award-winning athlete who has competed in wheelchair racing events internationally.

The 20-year-old came second in the London Vitality 10k wheelchair event earlier this month, and two weeks ago won the Schnneider Electric Marathon De Paris for Disabled Participants – the first marathon she’d ever done.

But on June 25, Eden will attempt a Spinnaker Tower abseil with an aim to raise £500 for The Elizabeth Foundation at Cosham.

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Eden Rainbow-Cooper competing.

The bid has been set up by the foundation, alongside Eden and Mark Chambers, one of the directors at Orbital Resourcing Ltd who will also take on the abseil.

After the pair visited the children’s centre, which helps children living with deafness, to find a way to support the organisation with deputy chief executive, Karen Vaughan - they knew this was what they wanted to do.

Eden lives with Sacral Agenises, a condition which limits muscle growth below the knee, and says she is ‘very excited’ for a new challenge.

She trains about three times a week as part of a team called the Weir Archer Academy founded by British Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir, a six-time gold medallist at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games and Jenny Archer MBE.

Eden Rainbow-Cooper with Jenny Archer.

She said: ‘I’ve done a few charity events. I’ve never done an abseil. I've never dealt with any heights so I don't think I'm scared of them but you never know.

‘I'm lucky enough that I can bear weight on my legs and walk a bit but it definitely will be a much bigger challenge for me. It's something I'm not really used to doing. I'm used to doing sports and doing sports sat down.

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‘It will be more of taking it easy and just seeing how it goes, but I think it will be a really great experience.’

Mark Chambers added: ‘I just thought heights is one of my fears so let's try and face it head on. Eden agreed to do it with me.

‘I'm feeling a bit nervous. As more time goes on the more I think, "get a grip and just do it".

‘From our point of view we really wanted to support a local charity because for us it's all about giving back. We felt when we met them and we met the children at the foundation it struck a chord straight away.’

So far, they have raised £230 for The Elizabeth Foundation, which is the UK's largest single provider of education services for babies and preschool children with deafness.

Eden aims to top that and reach a target of £500 on the fundraising website Just Giving.