POSTED: Monday March 8th 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Paralympian Mum in Mothers' Day race for Disabled African Children

Anne Wafula-Strike took up wheelchair racing to lose weight after giving birth and quickly became East Africa's first Paralympian. This Mothers’ Day she’s taking on a marathon challenge at Silverstone for AbleChildAfrica....

A disabled British mum who grew up in Kenya is taking on a marathon challenge this Mothering Sunday (Sunday March 14th) in aid of disabled African children.

Mother of one, Anne Wafula-Strike, who is one of the world’s leading wheelchair sprinters, will race around the famous Silverstone circuit, to help some of the continent’s 50m disabled children to get a better start in life.

It will be the mother of all challenges for Anne, who normally races at great speed over short distances of up to 400m, as she pushes herself for 13 miles in the Silverstone Half Marathon to raise much needed funds for the charity AbleChildAfrica.

Anne, first took to a wheelchair after the birth of her son and started racing to lose weight after a difficult pregnancy.

She made history in 2004 becoming the first East African woman to compete in a Paralympic Games representing Kenya is now tipped to race for Great Britain at 2012 Paralympics in London.

Anne, who lives in Harlow,Essex,  with husband Norman and son Timothy, 9, will be joined in her marathon challenge by Londoner Mary Ann Mhina, AbleChildAfrica’s chief executive.

Anne said:

“Going 13 miles in a wheelchair is a real challenge for me, but it’s nothing compared to the challenges facing Africa’s 50 million disabled children.

“I’m supporting AbleChildAfrica because I share their belief that with the right help, those children can grow up to play a vital role in Africa’s development.”

“I hope that taking part in the Silverstone half marathon will not only help raise money for the charity, but also make more people aware that Africa’s disabled children need our support.”

Anne has first-hand experience of the difficulties faced by disabled children in Africa. She grew up in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where she contracted polio at the age of two and was left disabled.

She didn’t sit in a wheelchair until she first came to the UK at the age of 30. She began racing the following year, originally to lose weight after the birth of her son, and hasn’t looked back since.

The Harlow-based athlete represented Kenya at the 2004 Paralympics and has been competing in international competitions for the UK since 2006.  She is currently ranked just outside the world top 10 in 100m, 200m and 200m and hopes to compete for Great Britain in 2012 London Olympics.
AbleChildAfrica’s Executive Director, Mary Ann Mhina, who lives in Peckham said:

“It’s great to have a world-class athlete like Ann supporting our vital work in Africa. She is an extraordinary woman who demonstrates that disabled people have many abilities just like anyone else.

“AbleChildAfrica is a small charity with a big vision. We believe every that every disabled person can help build a better future for Africa”

Later in the year AbleChildAfrica will further illustrate this point when some of the young people it works with will climb Kilimanjaro with a fundraising team from the UK to highlight just how able young disabled people are.

You can help Anne and Mary Ann reach their fundraising target of £10,000 by donating on line at htto://www.bmycharity.com/extraordinary

To find out more about the charity’s work see http://www.ablechildafrica.org or call 0845 226 1015.

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Keywords · Olympics · Paralympics · Paralympian · wheelchair · marathon · silverstone · kenya · uk · london 2012


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