AN INSPIRATIONAL young athlete is refusing to let blindness hold him back – and is targeting a place in the Paralympic games in eight years’ time.
Marcus Bathie, from Aughton, has congenital nystagmus, a condition which causes involuntary eye movement and limits vision.
But the 10-year-old, who is registered blind, has already tried his hand at more sports than most children ever will.
Marcus was one of 150 partially sighted children taking part in the UK’s biggest athletic event for blind children in Sheffield last weekend.
He has recently joined a disabled football team based in Crosby, as well as taking part in other sports including BMX, in-line skating and sailing.
Following the athletics event in Sheffield, which involved sprinting, throwing sponge javelins and standing jumps, Marcus – a member of Liverpool Actionnaires, a multi-activity club for blind and partially sighted children – said: “It was a brilliant day.
“The Paralympic Games have made me want to do even more sport. I made friends with other children and found out that because they can’t see, many don’t get chances to take part in sport outside local Actionnaires clubs. That’s why this event was so special.”
Proud parents Rachel and Nic are determined to help him achieve his dreams in sport.
Rachel said: “He’s really positive about it all. He knows he has a problem but he is determined to be a Paralympian – but he doesn’t know which sport he would want to focus on yet.”
While finding the right support and advice to help Marcus as he has grown up has been a struggle, his mum has been delighted with the support from his school, Ormskirk CE primary.
She said: “It takes a lot of courage to pick up the phone and ask for help.
“ It’s been very hard to track down clubs for him, but they are out there. The school has been extremely supportive. He makes every school team, they’ve been very positive from day one, really pushed him.”
And Rachel is keen for any other families in a similar position to get in touch.
She said: “Getting the right support has been hard and we would love to hear from people who have children with visual impairment. There are groups that can help, and things like car sharing are a great way families can help each other.”
Rachel can be contacted on 01695 420 435.