Boy inspired by Captain Tom to walk marathon

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Boy inspired by Captain Tom to walk marathon


TobiasImage copyright
Ruth Garbutt

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Tobias Weller started his challenge at the end of March and hopes to have completed it by the end of May

A nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy has been inspired by Captain Tom Moore to walk a marathon in his street.

Tobias Weller, from Sheffield, uses a walking frame and was only managing about 50m a day before lockdown began.

He had planned to walk 1km in his local park to raise money for charity, but is now walking 750m daily until he has completed the 26 mile (42km) challenge.

Tobias said he heard about Captain Tom and wants to raise £10,000 by doing this “ginormous” challenge.

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He has raised more than £8,000 so far for his two favourite charities, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces School, which he attends.

His mother Ruth Garbutt said: “He wanted to complete the sponsored walk in May and was disappointed he couldn’t do it.

“When he heard about Captain Tom’s challenge, he kind of saw the similarities and decided to replace his sponsored walk with a marathon attempt.

Image copyright
PA Media

Image caption

The nine-year-old was inspired by 99-year-old Capt Tom Moore

“We started on 21 March, which is pretty much when we started in lockdown, and we think we will be finished towards the end of May.

“He is very, very motivated to do it every single day which is fantastic.”

She added it was good physiotherapy for him, as he was missing the daily physiotherapy he usually received at Paces School.

‘Determined to do it’

Paces is a school for conductive education where the emphasis is on developing the children so they can achieve as much independence as possible. They follow physiotherapy programmes throughout the day as well as being educated at the same time.

She said it was “crazy” seeing the amount of donations rising. “As we see it smashing each thousand pound barrier, Tobias is just thrilled about it”.

Tobias, who also has autism and cannot stand or walk unaided, said: “It’s brilliant, we have loads of lovely neighbours who I have got to know loads better during lockdown.

In a video posted on his Just Giving Page he said: “This is going to be a ginormous challenge for me. A marathon is 42,000m but I am determined to do it.

“At the start of lockdown, I would use my crocodile walker to walk 50m a day, but now I am walking 750m a day”.

Tobias wants to raise money towards their new fundraising campaign “A New Home for Paces” to provide a new school with improved facilities.

Paces Sheffield is a specialist centre, school and charity for children and adults with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders of a neurological origin.

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Tobias

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