A TALENTED athlete is on her way to a global sporting event.
Young Peterlee swimmer Megan Atkinson, 12, can now fulfil her dream of competing in the World Dwarf Games, at Michigan State University, in the USA.
It comes after staff and students at St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive, in Peterlee, raised £1,000.
Assistant headteacher Paul Dickson raised around £700 by taking part in a Coast to Coast bike ride in May, and sponsorship included £300 from a kind-hearted ex-pat called Gary who now lives in Perth, Australia.
The rest of the money was raised through raffles, hampers and quizzes at the Westway-based school and from sales of cakes made by Megan, who was born with achondroplasia, and her mum Sarah.
Mr Dickson said: “Megan has been a real inspiration to all of us, she is very hard-working and very committed.”
Just last weekend, she took part in the National Junior Disability Games at the University of Central Lancashire, in Preston, which was attended by more than 250 athletes from all over the country. She won gold medals in the 60m and 100m sprints and a silver in the discus. The next day she attended a British swimming training camp in Leicester.
During the World Dwarf Games, in early August, Megan will join 394 other athletes from 17 countries. Representing Team GB, she will take part in various events including the 50m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m individual medley, 200m individual medley, and track and field events including running, discus, javelin and shot-putt. Megan, who has sisters called Emily, 10, and Isobel, eight, will also play for the England Ladies football team during the games, after being picked after excelling when she went to watch the team train.
Dad Kevin said: “It’s fantastic the way everybody has been involved in helping Megan, everyone has been really supportive. With the amount of preparation and hard work she has done, she deserves a reward.”