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Make Way For The Medals
Wednesday 15th July 2015 @ 16:54 by Mark Phillip
Ashton Sports

Lewis Perkins underlined his burgeoning status as one of the best up and coming young sprinters in the country last month.

Held at Warwick University in Coventry, the youngster competed in the Typhoo National Junior Athletics Championships.

As part of the North West team, the 15-year-old stormed to victory in the u16 T20 class 100m event.

A pupil at Samuel Laycock School, Lewis ran 12.6 seconds and qualified for the final in 12.3 seconds, shaving a further 0.2 seconds off his winning time.

The youngster was understandably delighted at achieving such a feat. He said: “It’s my first national championships and I can’t believe I’ve actually won it, but I love going for it and I always put my all in.”

Lewis also showed his quality in the 200m event, qualifying for the final race with a time of 27.5 seconds.

Despite entering the final race with confidence, Lewis was edged out by 0.3 seconds against Rhys Turnbull from Bury St Edmunds.

Taking pride in Lewis’ performance was his mother, Angela. She said: “I’m really proud of him. He loves his sport and just to run in a competition like this, representing the North West is fantastic.

“Events like the Typhoo national championships are all about opportunity and Lewis took his and he will be so pleased to show everyone his gold medal.”

Lewis was joined by five fellow pupils in Coventry.

Kimberley Moffatt returned with bronze medals in the 100m and 200m T20 U14 class, while Lewis Tupman won bronze in the 800m T20 u16 class.

In order to enter the race in the best frame of mind, the pupils trained frequently prior to the event. Kimberley said: “We trained at sport city in Manchester and I really enjoyed taking part on the day.”

A many of many talents, Lewis also represented the North West cerebral palsy football team against Japan last month.

The year nine pupil scored one of the goals which secured his side a 4-2 win on the memorable occasion.

Reflecting on the momentous day, Lewis said: “I travelled to St Georges Park to play against Japan who were competing in the cerebral palsy world cup.

“It was a really great experience and I’ve never played on a better pitch!

“After the game we went to watch England’s last game against the Republic of Ireland, which England won 2-0.”

Lewis was first introduced to the sport by his teacher, Ernie Greenwood. He added: “Mr Greenwood took me to Curzon Ashton, and I was eventually scouted by an England coach.

“I’ve also been playing for a mainstream football team for nine years.”

Lewis harbours high hopes for the future.

Not only does he want to play for the England CP football team, but he would love to secure a place in the Rio Paralympics.

Much like his school friends, Nathan Rowland also made an impact at the Typhoo Championships. He said: “I competed in the 200m event against a number of 17 year olds and still came sixth.

“As well as cheering my friends on, I came fourth in the long jump event.”

The 13 year old competes in numerous sports outside of school time. “I play football in the cadets, where we also do drills, matt weaving and basic skills” said Nathan.

The final member of the Samuel Laycock entourage was Jessica.

Despite not returning with a medal, Jessica enjoyed her trip nonetheless. As a competent team player, Jessica said: “I’d say my favourite sport is basketball, because it’s a fun team game where you can become fit.”

The two day Typhoo championships, organised by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) and supported by Typhoo are one of the highlights of the disability sports calendar with some competitors hoping their success might lead to a golden career in athletics.

Many elite disabled athletes began their own success at this prestigious event, including Hannah Cockroft, Shelly Woods, Aled Davies and Hollie Arnold whose talent marked them out as potential world-class athletes.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive of EFDS said: “What an event this year’s championships have been.

“This year’s Typhoo nationals certainly saw some brilliant performances from some very talented young athletes, but it was the sheer joy of participation that will be a lasting memory.”