A TEENAGE wheelchair athlete has trained through lockdown to emerge as a national champion with a series of new personal best times.

Ollie Porter, 13, of Hurworth-on-Tees, near Darlington, competed in the National Junior Disability Championships at Coventry, winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres.

Even more impressive was knocking nearly 10 seconds off his personal best time to come second in the 800 metres because he was competing against racers aged up to 19.

Ollie, who has spina bifida, has recently set a series of new personal best times at national wheelchair race meetings, across distances ranging from 100 metres to 1,500 metres.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ollie had been restricted to training at home via an online link, using special indoor rollers that were a Christmas present.

But, in the Spring, he was able to return to outdoor training with Leeds City Wheelchair Racing Club, and resume racing, and now has plans to tackle the Darlington 3k in August.

Ollie uses a racing wheelchair that was bought with the help of a donation of £3,000 from the Hurworth Rogers Charitable Trust, which was established after villager Brian Rogers left a large sum in his will to be used to support local causes.

Ollie’s mum Rebecca said: “The Trust has been an amazing source of support, not just with the financial donation, but in also keeping up to date with Ollie’s progress. He’s doing incredibly well in setting new personal best times and is so determined to go on getting better and better.”

Ollie, a pupil at Hurworth Comprehensive School, added: “I just love racing and my dream is still to get to the Paralympics one day but I know it takes a lot of dedication.”

As well as training three times a week for his racing, Ollie also plays wheelchair basketball for Tees Valley Mohawks.

A spokesman for the Hurworth Rogers Charitable Trust said: “We are delighted with Ollie’s determination and success and look forward to hearing of his further achievements. The Trust is always eager to consider similar applications for funding from Hurworth residents.”