FAST OUT OF THE BLOCKS: India Oates, who has cerebral palsy, is ranked first in Britain in the U17 200m sprint
FAST OUT OF THE BLOCKS: India Oates, who has cerebral palsy, is ranked first in Britain in the U17 200m sprint

A BARNARD Castle athlete is hoping her performance in an international championship next month will be a step towards realising her dream of competing in paralympic sport at world class level.

Although only 15, India Oates is ranked in the “Power of 10” grading system as first in Britain in the 200m sprint for under 17s, and second in the 100m event.

After completing a successful international classification in Switzerland recently, she was called up to represent Team England in the 2018 Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) World Games in Spain.

Sponsorship from law firm Irwin Mitchell will enable the young athlete to take part in the prestigious tournament.

Her mum, Sue, said: “We are so proud of India and everything that she has achieved with her running so far. Having the opportunity to represent Team England is a massive moment for India. CP (Cerebral Palsy) Sport, who put huge resources into the UK running programme, are unable to financially support the athletes competing in Spain, so this donation from Irwin Mitchell will prove to be invaluable as we look to help India to achieve her dream.”

The Barnard Castle School pupil became interested in athletics soon after the 2012 eParalymipcs.

He mum said: “It was her class teacher [Sue Seddon] who said she thought India would be a good runner.”

Blenkiron

Since then her performances have led to her being chosen for British Athletics’ Parallel Success programme.

The scheme aims to identify, develop, prepare and support potential Paralympians towards world class level.

The CPRISA World Games takes place from August 6 to 11. The athlete’s £500 sponsorship is from Irwin Mitchell's Don’t Quit, Do It grant programme, which offers individuals, disability sport charities and groups an opportunity to apply for help with the cost of training, equipment or participation in major events.

It is backed by multiple gold medal-winning Paralympian Hannah Cockroft.

Angela Kirtley, a partner and medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, said: “As a firm we have always been committed to backing important local causes and Don’t Quit, Do It has given us a great chance to put a spotlight on some of the great young sporting talent emerging across the UK.

“We are delighted to lend India this support, as she perfectly embodies the idea of our campaign and the huge benefits that sport can provide. We would like to wish her every success in the upcoming games and beyond.”