Aspiring Paralympian

754. Mark Pattenden (London)

Mark Pattenden, from London, is an aspiring Paralympian from London using sport to empower people with disabilities.

Mark is a disability specialist sports coach and aspiring Tokyo 2020 para-athlete specialising in archery and disability shooting. He has fundraised to encourage recent amputees to get involved in para-athletics. In 2016 he became the first ever para-athlete to run the Great Wall of China Marathon. He used this platform to raise enough money to donate a custom-made blade to another aspiring athlete. The condition of the athlete receiving this blade is that they undertake their own fundraising for disabled athletes. As a direct result of Mark’s work, one 20-year-old amputee is joining Team GB in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

In a personal letter to Mark, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through your fundraising challenges, you have supported recent amputees to become involved in para-athletics. You have used your own experiences to inspire others, and you should be proud of what you have achieved.”

Mark’s local Member of Parliament, Lyn Brown MP, said:

Firstly, I’d like to thank Mark Pattenden for his completely inspirational accomplishments. It is particularly impressive that he has worked so hard to pass the torch to a young man who will I am sure continue our extraordinary Paralympic success story.

“His incredible endeavours, trekking to Everest Base Camp and running the Great Wall of China Marathon, not only set an example for thousands of potential athletes, but have raised thousands of pounds to invest in the equipment they need to train.

“Thanks to Mark’s amazing efforts, an additional athlete will be taking part in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, who has promised to raise funds in the same way. I really hope this wonderfully unique and generous way of giving back will be part of the legacy.”

Mark said:

“I am very honoured to receive this award from the Prime Minister for my work in a voluntary capacity.  I believe that there are many Points of Light volunteers in Great Britain who play a vital roll in the work they do and to be recognised in this way is a great achievement. I would like to thank the many people with whom I have had the privilege to work in charities and teams who have contributed to this including Dorset Orthopaedic who have managed to keep me going as an amputee.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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