A fundraising campaign has been launched to buy a new wheelchair for a teenager from Kenilworth in a bid to help him join Team GB.
Zien Zhou, who is 17 and has Cerebral Palsy, is a member of British Athletics’ Paralympic Academy and competes in wheelchair races across the country.
Zien now needs a new wheelchair to help him continue training and competing in the hope that he will make it onto Team GB for the 2020 paralympics in Tokyo.
During his time competing Zien has won a number of certificates, medals and trophies.
He has won trophies for the under-17s boys’ category in the Mini Marathon in London in 2018 and he also previously won the under-14s category.
Zien said: “The chairs normally last about two to three years and I got my last one two- and-a-half years ago.
“I am in a period now where I am growing a lot so I have outgrown my old one. So now I need a new one to compete better and train better to achieve my goals.
“The big aim is to hopefully to make the Tokyo paralympic team and in the future other similar international events.”
Zien also trains at Fitness Worx in Kenilworth and the team at the gym are also pushing the fundraising effort to help raise money for the new chair.
Zien said: “I would like to say a thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. Particular thanks to Fitness Worx for allowing me to use their amazing facilities.”
Tony Zhou, Zien’s father, said: “Zien started competing in 2016 and he competes in wheelchair racing in the T34 classification. His first trophy in 2016 was presented by Prince Harry.
“He was a champion in 2018. He won two gold medals in the School Games and he is a member of the British Athletic’s Paralympic Academy and trains with them. He trains with Kare Adenegan who holds the 100m world record.
“The current chair was purchased two-and-a-half years ago and he has grown out of the chair. He will carry on using the old chair until we get a new one and he will be doing the Coventry Half-Marathon on Sunday. This will be his first half-marathon. He is challenging himself.
“We are hoping to raise £5,000 for the wheelchair. The first wheelchair was given by a charity and we feel reluctant to take the burden to the same charity this time as they can give the opportunity to other people who are in need.
“We are looking for help and a lot of people we know at Fitness Worx have started donating already which is so nice and thoughtful.”
Jack Gibson, director of Fitness Worx, said: “Zien is a credit to the FWX Community. We have known him for five years and he has grown from strength to strength. He is at a stage in his life where he needs extra help and support, and Fitness Worx is more than happy to help through our social powers.”
A GoFundMe fundraising page has been set up to help raise the £5,000 needed for Zien’s new wheelchair.
As of Friday morning (March 22) £790 has been raised.
To donate click here