Champion Allan is going for gold


Community Sport Champion Allan Minns

DISABILITY has proved no barrier to Allan Minns, who has set his sights on the 2008 Paralympic Games.

The 22-year-old, of Moredon, is this year’s Community Sport Champion, and hopes that his achievements can inspire others, both able bodied and disabled.

Allan, who trains at the Milton Road swimming baths once a week, was nominated for the award by his club Swindon Dolphin where he helps disabled children as well as other swimmers of all ages.

The former Bradon Forest pupil has been swimming since he was 18 months old and has not let adversity stand in his way.

“I was shocked when I found out I’d won the award, I thought someone was having a laugh,” he said.

“It is really great to be recognised in this way.”

Allan lost his arm in an accident outside his home in Manor Crescent in 1990.

He had been out riding his bike when a skip lorry started reversing and mounted the pavement.

Allan was hit and his arm was caught under the wheel. Despite the best efforts of doctors they could not save it, however they did save the fingers on his right hand.

For nearly three years Allan did not venture back into the pool, but he finally overcame his nerves and dived back in.

And he has not looked back since.

“I’m training towards the Paralympic Games at the moment and, hopefully, I’ll be able to compete in 2008, and if not then 2012,” said Allan.

He is hoping to compete in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and is currently working towards the 200m freestyle as well.

As part of his bid to get into the paralympic squad he will be competing in national events in Sheffield, Bath and Manchester in the coming months.

Allan said that his mum Alison Ellis was right behind him and was truly a mum in a million.

He added that the rest of his family – dad Colin Minns, sister Tasha Minns, nephew Zack, step-dad Simon Ellis and grandparents Joyce and Allan Dinsdale had all been extremely supportive.

Allan’s girlfriend Kirsty Styles said that she was incredibly proud of him.

“I was at home with his mum when she got the phone call to say that he had been nominated,” said the 21-year-old.

“At first I thought they were just lying but then I saw tears in her eyes and I realised it was for real.

“I am so proud of him because he has won it.

“It is something he has done all by himself by helping others.”

Source: Swindon Advertiser (Stephanie Tye – 16 05 07)

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