Ruben goes to great lengths for his char­ity swimathon

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Ra­m­age

In­spi­ra­tional nine- year- old Ruben Pear­son is cel­e­brat­ing com­plet­ing an ex­haust­ing swim chal­lenge for char­ity.

The Colt­ness kid swam 22 miles - the equiv­a­lent of the English Chan­nel – over 12 weeks to raise £100 for Di­a­betes UK

Not only did he com­plete the swim with five days to spare, he smashed his ini­tial tar­get by rais­ing more than £1000.

Proud mum Le­anda said: “We’re all re­ally chuffed for him.

“I think he man­aged to fin­ish early be­cause he knew his dad Colin was away that week­end and he wanted to fin­ish while he was there.

“He’s ab­so­lutely de­lighted and we are all so proud of him.”

St Ai­dan’s Pri­mary pupil Ruben – a mem­ber of Mother­well and Wishaw swim club - de­cided to take on the chal­lenge for Di­a­betes UK af­ter his aun­tie Claire vis­ited from Mel­bourne last year hav­ing just been di­ag­nosed with type 1 di­a­betes.

Hav­ing seen first hand the im­pact of the con­di­tion, he was de­ter­mined to do some­thing to help.

Le­anda ex­plained: “My sis­ter was di­ag­nosed with type 1 last year just be­fore a visit with her two wee boys.

“They’re only six and eight and Ruben gets on re­ally well with them.

“She was re­ally open about her blood sug­ars and in­jec­tions, so his aware­ness of it just grew and grew.”

Par­ents Le­anda and Colin and big brother and sis­ter Kyle and Emily were all de­lighted when he fin­ished his fi­nal length to com­plete the mam­moth dis­tance.

Any­one wish­ing to boost his to­tal fur­ther can still do so by vis­it­ing https:// swim22. di­a­betes. org. uk/ users/le­anda-and-ruben­pear­son The num­ber of at­ten­dances at ac­tive schools ses­sions in North La­nark­shire has risen by 29 per cent over the past two years, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port for SportS­cot­land.

In­de­pen­dent re­search in­di­cates that there were 395,000 vis­its to ses­sions across the coun­cil area dur­ing the pre­vi­ous aca­demic year, 2016-2017.

Sur­veys of 15,000 school pupils across Scot­land found that 98 per cent felt health­ier for par­tic­i­pat­ing in ac­tive schools events, while 92 per cent felt more con­fi­dent and 87 per cent made new friends.

Education con­vener Frank McNally said: “It’s great to see this out­stand­ing rise – im­prov­ing health, well­be­ing and con­fi­dence are key and I’m de­lighted to see these fig­ures.

“Our am­bi­tion in North La­nark­shire is that ev­ery child has the op­por­tu­nity to ful­fil their po­ten­tial.

“That’s not just about sport­ing ex­cel­lence; we know that young peo­ple who are health­ier achieve more at school and there’s no doubt that the work of SportS­cot­land and our Ac­tive Schools team goes a long way to­wards achiev­ing that.”

Proud Wishaw young­ster Ruben Pear­son with his sup­port­ers in­clud­ing par­ents Le­anda and Colin

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