ILKLEY runner Paul Hesketh who attended the Special Olympics National games in Sheffield in August had a full week and raced in the 800 metres and 1500 metres with strong opposition.

In the 800 metres Paul, 19, took third place and challenged the second placed runner, however disappointment as Paul was disqualified for running across the lanes too early.

Nevertheless Paul had the 1500 metres to make amends and raced well with instructions from his coach on the final lap and sprinted down the final 200 metres to take the bronze medal and a personal best time. A bronze in the long jump also took Paul's tally to two bronze medals and stands him in good stead for the World Games in two years time in Abu Dhabi.

Paul trains with Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure (BDSL) and has taken part in 10k events in Bradford and Leeds for the last four years. He regularly attends Ilkley Tennis Club Gym and Nuffield Gym in Guiseley.

The Special Olympics is the country’s largest multi-sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. It is held every four years and represents a huge opportunity to showcase the abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to compete at a national level, experience the personal achievement this brings, as well as enable them to make friends, travel and socialise.

Around 2,600 athletes with intellectual disabilities of all ages and abilities came together from across the country to compete in 19 sports.

The games were televised on local and national TV news and were a huge success.