An inspirational young athlete from County Durham is wished the very best of luck ahead of his debut at the Paralympic Games.
Father-of-one Lyndon Longhorne, who grew up in Crook, will compete in six events as part of Team GB’s swimming squad at the international games in Toyko, with his first event taking place on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old meningitis survivor lost both legs, his right arm and part of his left hand when he was just eight and a half months old. His passion for swimming started when his granddad took him to his local pool at the age of one. Since then, he has gone on to break national records and focussed on his dream of representing his country.
Lyndon, who trains with Durham County Council’s Performance Academy at the Louisa Centre in Stanley, is now ranked tenth in the world in a number of events, and still finds time to campaign and raise funds for Meningitis Now.
Cllr Watts Stelling, Chairman of the council, said: “On behalf of the people of County Durham I would like to congratulate Lyndon for being selected to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games.
“This is a fantastic achievement and recognition of hard work and commitment over many years. Lyndon’s sporting success and his wider work as an ambassador for Meningitis Now have made him a great inspiration for so many others.
“We are incredibly proud to have been able to support Lyndon through our leisure services and I know his friends at the Louisa Centre will be among those cheering the loudest when he takes to the pool in Tokyo.
“In County Durham, we are committed to investing in culture and sport to help talented young people like Lyndon reach their potential. This is a key reason why we are bidding to be UK City of Culture 2025, as it will increase the opportunities on offer here.”
Paul Woodley, head swimming coach at the Louisa Centre, said: “We cannot wait to cheer on Lyndon as he makes his debut in the Paralympic Games. Lyndon has worked so hard to get to this point, showing such determination to make his dream come true.
“We are all so proud of him. Lyndon is such an inspiration – to myself, the other swimmers here and to the wider community and we are all rooting for him. This has been a dream of Lyndon’s for so long and it’s incredibly special to be a part of that journey.”
The UK City of Culture 2025 bid was submitted by the council last month of behalf of Culture Durham. The bid is special as it aims to secure the title for Durham – both the county and the city. To find out more about the bid and to leave messages of support, visit www.durham2025.co.uk.
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