Step­ping up to top fit­ness

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith To sup­port Mr Wil­son’s fundrais­ing ef­forts visit city2­surf2015.ev­ery­day­hero. com/au/brian Danielle Jarvis Con­nor and his Ci­ty2Surf team­mate Levi Jones hope to raise $10,000 for Vi­sion Aus­tralia. To make a do­na­tion visit vi­sion­aus­tralia.or

MOST peo­ple hate tak­ing the stairs but one Ersk­ine Park man ac­tively seeks the most chal­leng­ing as­cents pos­si­ble.

Brian Wil­son, 27, not only par­tic­i­pated in all four Sta­dium Stomps around Aus­tralia, but he com­pleted the around 6000-stair events in Syd­ney and Bris­bane twice.

“I fin­ished one lap and thought I should do it again,” he said.

“I like the fact that it’s a kind of buzz, and ev­ery­one thinks that I’m crazy. I’m def­i­nitely not the fastest but I just keep go­ing.”

As part of the Sta­dium Stomp in Syd­ney, par­tic­i­pants climb up, down and around the stairs within the Syd­ney Cricket Ground’s sta­dium bays, then head next door to Al­lianz Sta­dium to do the same, be­fore run­ning a full lap of the SCG oval to fin­ish.

Mr Wil­son be­gan en­ter­ing fit­ness events as a way to lose weight and get fit, and over the last year since he started he’s lost more than 20kg.

“I de­cided I was go­ing to be fit and ac­tive so I went in the Ci­ty2Surf and started run­ning. In one fun run there was lots of stairs and some­how or other I found out about the stair climb at Cen­tre­point and I did that two weeks later,” he said.

From there he’s run up the Eureka build­ing and Wa­ter­front Place build­ing in Bris­bane, and the Q1 build­ing on the Gold Coast. He’s now in train­ing to com­plete the Ci­ty2Surf on Sun­day and the Syd­ney Tower Stair Chal­lenge on Au­gust 23, which in­cludes 1504 steps some 309m high.

As part of ev­ery event Mr Wil­son raises money for the Foun­da­tion for An­gel­man Syn­drome Ther­a­peu­tics Aus­tralia, which as­sists in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing with the se­vere neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der.

One of his for­mer work col­league’s sons has the con­di­tion, which is char­ac­terised by pro­found de­vel­op­men­tal de­lays. THIS Sun­day, 13-year-old Con­nor McLeod, who was born blind, will take part in the Ci­ty2Surf.

The Oakhurst res­i­dent said he wanted to do the marathon to raise money for Vi­sion Aus­tralia, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has given him so much.

His fa­ther, David McLeod, will be his guide run­ner for the 14km marathon and will also ride with him in a tan­dem bike for the City to the Gong bike ride in Novem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to Con­nor, he does not have a dis­abil­ity, but a dif­fer­ent abil­ity that has been more of a mo­ti­va­tion than a hin­drance.

He has been ab­seil­ing since he was five years old, taught him­self to play the drums and the key­board and is trained in karate.

Con­nor’s name made head­lines ear­lier this year when the Re­serve Bank of Aus­tralia agreed to his re­quest to cre­ate tac­tile bank notes to help vi­sion­im­paired peo­ple dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween notes.

His cam­paign has since been recog­nised by the Na­tional Braille Press in Bos­ton, which will fly him over in Novem­ber to re­ceive the Hands On! Award.

The award recog­nises peo­ple who have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to ac­ces­si­bil­ity for the vi­sion- im­paired. Pre­vi­ous re­cip­i­ents of the award in­clude au­thor J.K. Rowl­ing and for­mer first lady Laura Bush. Con­nor will be the first Aus­tralian to re­ceive the award.

His mother Ally Lan­caster said she was dev­as­tated when she found out her four­month-old son had Le­ber con­gen­i­tal amau­ro­sis.

“I cried a river,” Ms Lan­caster said. “I knew noth­ing about blind­ness, vi­sion loss or rais­ing a blind child.”

Ms Lan­caster said teach­ing Con­nor, her third child, sim­ple things like how to crawl, turn on a tap or turn his head was a chal­lenge.

“It was the sup­port and ded­i­ca­tion of Vi­sion Aus­tralia that taught me to be the par­ent I al­ways knew I could be but didn’t know how to be.” Thir­teen years later, Con­nor said he ac­cred­its his achieve­ments to his sup­port­ive par­ents.

“I sup­pose it’s be­cause Mum and Dad have pushed me to try and get out there and do what I’m do­ing and to do the best I can,” he said.

“I want to make sure I don’t end up be­ing the guy who doesn’t know what he is do­ing.”

While his aim ev­ery day is to fit in, Con­nor has one mes­sage for those liv­ing with a dis­abil­ity: “Get out there and give it a go.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.