PARALYMPIC cyclist Rik Waddon has become a patron of Claire House Children’s Hospice.
The 33-year-old, who won silver in the Beijing Olympics, was awarded the patronage for the inspiration he provides to children at the hospice, including those from Chester.
He suffered a brain injury after being knocked down by a car when he was five and now suffers from cerebral palsy.
Former Blacon High School pupil Rik, who is originally from Blacon but who now lives in Chorley, Lancashire, said: “I was taken aback when I was asked to become a Claire House patron, I wasn’t expecting it at all. It really is an honour.
“When I had my accident in 1982, there was little in the way of care provision available for children compared to today. The first time I visited Claire House I was amazed at the level of care given to the kids, it is a fantastic place.
“By speaking to the children who face difficulties of their own, I hope I can provide some sort of inspiration.”
Rik, who recently won his first UCI World Cup road event, is mentoring a team of cyclists who are taking part in a coast to coast challenge in aid of Claire House, which provides support for children with life limiting, life threatening conditions from across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and the Isle of Man.
The team of six is hoping to raise £100,000 for the charity by cycling from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the Atlantic in September and Rik has been dishing out training and diet tips.
He added: “The guys are all looking fit and are ready for the challenge. I’ve been helping by giving them practical advice.”
For more details, about Claire House, visit www.claire-house.org.uk.