Paralympian aims for London

2011-05-26 00:00

MIDLANDS residents are organising a fundraising dinner for a 16-year-old paralympian who is one of two South African dressage riders ­short­lis­ted to represent the country at the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Anthony Dawson of Hilton was the youngest member of the South Africa Para Dressage Team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in the U.S.

The fundraising event is at Karkloof Country Club tomorrow. Entry is R120. It starts at 7 pm.

Event organiser Debbie Collier said there will be a raffle in which guests can win prizes and two art pieces will be auctioned.

“Riders get very little from government funding for the Olympics, so we are trying to ease the burden on Anthony’s family by raising funds and supporting him,” Collier told The Witness.

The talented youngster was born prematurely. At six months he was diagnosed with spastic right hemiplegia, a condition that impairs movement and the ability of the brain to send the proper nerve signals to the muscles.

Anthony started riding as therapy at 18 months.

When he was diagnosed with the condition his parents were told he would not talk or walk.

“Everything that I achieved has been through the support of mom and dad, my coach and the horse power and, of course, sheer luck,” he said.

Anthony is riding in the KwaZulu-Natal Championships this Sunday. “I’m grateful. The local community has been generous and fantastic,” he said.

Contact Debbie Collier on 082 852 3179.

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