MP and Crosby & Blundellsands Labour Action Team leader back Cro

Bill Esterson, Chris Honess and Veronica Bennett

A Crosby athlete is hoping to make it to the London Paralympics next year and MP Bill Esterson is calling on local Crosby businesses to help him get there.


Chris Honess, who is ranked number 1 in the country for his classification, is aiming to make it to the 2012 Paralympics in London. 

But despite all the training, 29-year-old Chris, who has cerebral palsy, still needs to gain sponsorship to reach his dream.

A member of Southport Waterloo Athletics Club, the former Sacred Heart pupil excels in the 100m and 200m sprint, having already competed in events around the country. One of the heights of his athletics career to date is coming second in the 200m at the BT Paralympic World Cup for Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

Although he has a full time job as a data analyst in Liverpool, Chris trains every day - rain or shine - to ensure that he is at his peak.

Chris told Bill Esterson: "I am going all out to get to the Paralympics. It's been my ambition to make it to the Paralympics, but next year is even more special as it is in London.

"I've been training to make it to the Paralympics for six years. I'm constantly getting faster, shaving seconds off my time, but I really need support and financial backing to get me there.

"It is an expensive business, having to pay for the kit and all the extra costs, which include physio, travel and accommodation, so I'm really in need of support so I can make this dream a reality."

Chris turned to athletics after playing football for Everton for over eight years. While playing in one match he came close to breaking his back. It was something he said he didn't want to ever put his family through again.

Chris HonessChris said: "I nearly broke my back when I was playing for Everton and I was lying in hospital with my family by my side. It was a traumatic experience for me and my family and one that I didn't ever want to put my mum and dad through again.

"It took me a few weeks to recover and by the time I was able to get up and about, I thought to myself that I would swap the football pitch for the race track. What injuries could I possibly pick up by running in a straight line?

 
"So I decided to get in touch with Merseyside Sports Partnership about seeing if they could hook me up with a coach and in turn they put me in contact with Graham Pilkington and from then on I have been training hard ever since. I force myself to go out no matter what the weather to train and I am getting to the stage where I can compete with the best in the world.

"Reaching the Paralympics is my goal and I will not give up until I get there."
 
Crosby & Blundellsands Labour Action Team leader Veronica Bennett said she was sure that local businesses would back Chris.
 
Veronica said: "We all need to get behind Chris' efforts to get to the London Paralympics and I'm sure that local businesses will be the first to come forward to support him.
 
"If he is successful, Chris will be not just representing his country, but also Crosby, at the biggest sporting event on the planet. That in itself deserves our support."

Bill added: "Chris has clearly been through a lot, but he has committed himself to this goal of reaching the Paralympics.

"While his times are improving and he is running through rain, hail, sleet and snow - and that's just in the past week alone - he still needs help to get him to London next year.

"We need to get behind our local talent here in Crosby and make sure that they are given the chance to shine. Chris has the opportunity to do that in London 2012, but he needs help to get there.

"So I am appealing to local businesses, big and small to give Chris their backing and make sure that Crosby is represented on the world stage at London next year."

Any businesses wanting to sponsor Chris should email honess@btinternet.com

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