A TEENAGER with a condition that affects his co-ordination made a splash for charity when he raised more than £1,500.
Fynlee Hateley, who has Dyspraxia – a development disorder which affects co-ordination, balance, core stability and strength – swam 2.5miles in memory of his nan who suffered with Parkinson’s Disease.
Sport has always been challenging for the 13-year-old but he was determined to support the Cure Parkinson’s Trust in her honour.
The Solihull School pupil said: “Cure Parkinson’s is a charity close to my family, as my nan passed away after living with the condition for 10 years.
“I saw how difficult it was for her and thought how sad it was, so I wanted to do something to help and hopefully find a cure for it.
“I really like sport but I have always found anything physical – hopping, skipping, running – a real challenge because my core is not very strong.
“But I enjoy swimming so I trained hard, building up my lengths, and I decided to push myself and ended up doing 2.5miles in one hour 40 minutes, so I was very pleased.”
He was invited to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust annual fundraising evening in London – an event children don’t normally attend.
Fynlee completed the swim as part of his lower school diploma, which looks at five areas, including charity and community work.
Along with his swim, last year Fynlee climbed Mount Snowdon as part of Solihull’s Snowdonia School.
He admits it is tough for him to take part in such physically demanding efforts, but he is determined to try to take on more in the future.
Fynlee added: “One description of Dyspraxia is that ‘it takes a Dyspraxic person 10 times more energy and thought to do the same tasks as someone without the condition’. I think that’s a pretty accurate description.
“Climbing stairs for most people is something they don’t even have to think about but I have to think about every single step.
“Everyone at school has been very supportive and understanding. My experiences have taught me a lot about myself and that no matter how hard things may be, there is always something you can achieve with hard work determination and perseverance.”
Following his achievements Helen Matthews, deputy chief executive of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, said: “We are hugely grateful to Fynlee for taking on this challenge and helping us raise awareness of Parkinson’s and our work towards finding a cure.”
Solihull School’s head of lower school Owen Bate said: “Fynlee has shown such determination and character, not only to complete such an arduous swim, but also to commit to the weeks and months of training beforehand.
“The school community is exceptionally proud of Fynlee and he should be proud of himself. We will continue to support Fynlee in all that he does both inside and outside school.”