Gold medal winning and world record breaking Paralympian steps up to support kids with cerebral palsy
ACT’s Evan O’Hanlon takes on challenge of 10,000 steps a day and asks fellow Canberrans to join him
CANBERRA, THURSDAY 21 AUGUST 2014 – He’s used to sprinting to the finish line in world record time, but now Evan O’Hanlon is preparing to pace himself for a month-long marathon of activity.
The gold medal winning Paralympic sprinter, who has cerebral palsy, has signed up for the STEPtember challenge where participants aim to do 10,000 steps a day throughout September.
It will be a physical challenge of a different kind for Evan, who is used to doing everything at one speed – fast! But he’s determined to reach his daily step count in support of other children and adults with cerebral palsy.
‘This is a whole new challenge for me, as rather than my usual 100 or 200 metres sprints I will need to pace myself for a marathon effort to reach my daily step count each and every day of the STEPtember challenge’, Evan said.
‘Growing up with cerebral palsy, I understand just how important ongoing therapy, equipment and support are to children and adults like me. By taking part in STEPtember I will be helping others with cerebral palsy to strive for and reach their goals, whatever they may be’, he said.
STEPtember participants form teams of four and each do 10,000 steps a day from 3-30 September. Participants wear pedometers and log their daily activity online. More than 40 activities can also be converted into steps including cycling, rowing, surfing and going to the gym. Participants also raise money to help Cerebral Palsy Alliance provide vital equipment and therapy for kids in need.
Involved in athletics at a school level, Evan was encouraged by a PE teacher to explore the possibility of competing as an athlete with a disability. He exploded onto the world athletics stage in 2005 and at his first Paralympic Games in Beijing won the 100m and the 200m, smashing both world records.
He again won double gold in London and is now the fastest Australian Paralympian ever across all classes, running 100m in 10.79 seconds.
‘You don’t have to be a world-record breaker to get involved in STEPtember’, Evan said. ‘It is a fun and healthy way that everyone can play a part in helping change lives. I’d love my fellow Canberrans to sign up and join me in helping raise money for Cerebral Palsy Alliance to provide this vital support.’
To sign up a team go to www.steptember.org.au
Released on 21 Aug 2014