A Brunel University London athlete with multiple sclerosis (MS) is hard in training after being picked to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Amar Aichoun, who attends Track Academy by Connie Henry in Willesden, North West London, is one of just 18 English athletes to be chosen to take part in the event’s para athletics programme. The 20-year-old will be heading to the Gold Coast to compete in the T38 100m between 4 and 18 April.
Sports science student Amar, who was diagnosed with MS when he was just 13, said he was thrilled to receive the invitation. “I had a call from British Athletics and my immediate thought was that I’d done something wrong!”, he said.
“But I was told that, because of my past performances, they wanted me to take part in the Commonwealth Games. Being chosen is epic. It is an opportunity to show the world my athletic ability as well as prove myself strong.”
It’s not the first time that Amar has been picked to compete on the world stage. Last August, he secured silver and bronze medals in the T38 100m and 200m at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland.
Ever the determined sportsman, he says he is now striving for gold on the Gold Coast. He said: “I know I could have done better in Switzerland, so I’ve stepped up my training to six times a week at Track Academy. I want to do the best I can at the Commonwealth Games.”
Should Amar successfully gain a place on the podium in Australia, he’ll be following in the footsteps of his Track Academy coach Connie Henry; she took bronze in the triple jump at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Connie said: “Over the years, we’ve seen Amar develop into a fine young man who has never let his MS dampen his spirit or his ambition to succeed both on and off the track. We couldn’t be happier that he has been chosen to compete at the Commonwealth Games and will be cheering as loudly as we can for him back in Willesden.”
Amar’s talent and promise secured him one of the prized sports scholarships at Brunel, which has a long and distinguished history of athletes competing and winning on the world stage.
Brunel’s Head of Sport Mark Burgess commented: “We’re thrilled that Amar has been selected for Team England, and we’ll be rooting for him as he takes to the track in Australia.”
Track Academy is a registered charity which uses sport for social change among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Based at the Willesden Sports Centre, academy members are given inspiration to succeed both on and off the track. Alongside athletics coaching, they attend education sessions to help them gain qualifications, encouraging them to carve out fulfilling lives away from negative influences.
Find out more about the sports scholarship programme at Brunel University London.
Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
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