SOLIHULL middle-distance runner Andrew Kaar has been fast-tracked as a future British Paralympian after being handpicked to join a prestigious scheme.
The 23-year-old former Hazel Oak School pupil will receive a cash injection of £1,000 after gaining a place on the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative.
The money can be used towards training and competing, and Andrew is one of only 270 youngsters selected from across the UK.
Kaar attended the Cardiff launch at the Welsh Institute of Sport last week, where he was given master classes by former British Olympians Iwan Thomas, Leon Taylor and double Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds on sports psychology and media training.
And Andrew - who runs for Birchfield Harriers - admitted his new-found support couldn’t be better timed as he begins his preparations for July’s INAS-FID Open European Athletics Championships in Croatia.
“My aim is to bring back a medal from Croatia - I won bronze last time and hopefully this time I can get a silver or a gold medal,” said Andrew.
“It would be brilliant to be at the Paralympics (London, 2012) and I think I should be able to do it if I can put in a good performance at the World Championships in New Zealand next January.
“It would be incredible to run at a Paralympics in my home country with my friends and family watching me compete.”
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes is an initiative in partnership with SportsAid providing support and funding to over 270 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes.