Record number of youngsters sign up

Finnley Kenny from Denmead getting underway in the wheelchair event at the Mini Great South Run in southsea on Saturday''.''Picture: Steve Reid (123510-515)
Finnley Kenny from Denmead getting underway in the wheelchair event at the Mini Great South Run in southsea on Saturday''.''Picture: Steve Reid (123510-515)

Portsmouth families wanted for university study

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A RECORD number of youngsters took their place on the start line.

A total of 4,000 participants made up of children and less experienced runners completed the junior, mini, 5km and wheelchair races during the Bupa Great South Run weekend, the highest number in the event’s history.

One of those that took up the challenge on Saturday was Finnley Kenny, six, who pushed himself around the self-propelled wheelchair race.

The nine-year-old, who lives in Home Mead, Denmead, made it to the finish of the 2.5k race in 28 minutes and 25 seconds.

He was inspired to take part after watching the Paralympics on television.

His proud dad Tom Kenny, 37, said: ‘After he watched the Paralympics he told me he wanted to enter the Bupa Great South and get round the course in his wheelchair in as fast a time as possible.

‘I am extremely proud of him. It’s fantastic that he wanted to set himself this challenge. Finnley is very determined. He tries his hardest to overcome obstacles.

‘There were questions when he was born as to whether he would ever walk, but he’s been trying to manage it.’

Last year Finnley competed in a 600m race at his school Denmead Junior.

Mr Kenny said: ‘There wasn’t a dry eye on the field when everyone saw Finnley walking, falling over, then getting back up and trying again.’