December 7 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH
Friday, May 25, 2012
ONE of Fenland’s brightest sporting stars took four gold medals at a regional athletics championship despite losing his sight as part of a degenerative condition.
Teenager Calum Briars scooped gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump at the Eastern Region Athletics Championships for disabled people, held in Chelmsford on Saturday.
He is almost blind due to rod-cone dystrophy, which affects the light that comes into the eye through the pupil - but he is determined to overcome his difficulties and continue to take victory on the track and in the field.
Calum, 14, a student at Cromwell Community College in Chatteris, said: “As long as I can see the point of the finish line, I can run towards it.
“I like to compete against other people and am targeting more gold medals at the national finals.”
Calum, of Benwick, was born with the condition but suffered from the sharpest visual decline in his early teenage years.
He trains in athletics three times a week in Peterborough and plays football for the England disability side.
Yet despite his condition, he is determined to be independent.
He walks round school alone without a guide, touching walls around the college with his hands to navigate the corridors.
And he insists on carrying out his athletics training independently, only relying on small bits of direction to avoid any obstacles on the track.
His grandfather Darren Briars said: “It is something I never expected him to be able to do.
“He has done brilliantly and I am extremely proud of him.”