Matthew sets his sights on the Olympics
COULD this remarkable teenager be a Great British Olympian in 2012?Inspirational Matthew Baker scooped seven medals in a national junior games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games.
COULD this remarkable teenager be a Great British Olympian in 2012?
Inspirational Matthew Baker scooped seven medals in a national junior games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games.
After winning silver and bronzes in shot putt, power lifting, 60m track, 200m track, discuss and javelin, the 15-year-old took gold in archery, finishing with 116 points out of a possible 120.
The popular Copleston High School pupil, who has cerebral palsy, was one of 200 competitors from across the country to take part in the games.
Matthew said: “Last year I won gold in the archery but I found myself having nothing to do towards the end of the games, so I decided to enter as many competitions as I could.
“I really wasn't expecting to come away with any medals in any of the track events so it was a bit of a shock.”
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The Stoke Mandeville games have traditionally been a breeding ground for stars of the future, most notably Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, who is Great Britain's most successful wheelchair athlete.
Matthew, who is planning to go to sixth form next September, is a member of the Gipping Valley Archers and harbours ambitions of representing Great Britain when the Olympics come to London in five years' time.
Copleston deputy headteacher David East paid tribute to Matthew.
“It's a fantastic achievement and everybody is so proud of him,” he said.
“Matthew is such a determined character. No matter what he is doing, he wants to excel at it.
“And everything he does, he does with a smile on his face. You can't help but feel lifted by him.”
Matthew is currently looking for sponsorship to enable him to continue competing at the top. Any individuals or businesses who would like to offer their support should contact Copleston High School on 01473 710951.