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Marathon man gets Olympic inspiration

PUBLISHED: 15:42 16 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:27 07 September 2010

A FORMER ski instructor has been motivated to run the London Marathon by his disabled Olympian cousin. Simon Dides, of Belsize Grove, is taking part in the race in April after watching his cousin Johan Taberlet ski at the Paralympics

Susanna Wilkey

A FORMER ski instructor has been motivated to run the London Marathon by his disabled Olympian cousin.

Simon Dides, of Belsize Grove, is taking part in the race in April after watching his cousin Johan Taberlet ski at the Paralympics in Italy last year.

The 29-year-old, who is originally from France, said: "My cousin is a disabled skier and he reached the winter Paralympics last year in Torino and that was a great achievement for him. He inspired me to run the marathon."

Mr Dides is running in aid of Get Kids Going! - a charity that gives disabled children the chance to take part in sports.

"I picked this charity because disabled children have the same spirit that my cousin has and they get over their difficulties of disability so well, they are an inspiration all of us," he said.

"I want to raise £3,200 because that can buy a sports wheelchair for a kid. Living in London, it is not that easy to do sport, especially for disabled people."

With two and a half months to go, Mr Dides has already raised £1,430 and is well on his way to the target. He has been training on Hampstead Heath to build up stamina for the challenge.

"I have been training in the dark and the cold with my best friend Jan to achieve this goal. You just keep doing the miles and now I am getting better.

"You know when you get something in your mind, you just focus on it and you can do it."

Mr Dides, who moved to Britain five years ago and now works as an accountant, said: "Being French, I will be very proud to help a British disabled kid to get a better life. I love England and speaking the English language."

Get Kids Going! promotes sports for disabled children by providing them with specially-built sports wheelchairs so they can do marathons, triathlons, tennis, athletics, mountain skiing, rugby, basketball and many more sports.

o To check out Simon Dides' story or make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/simondides. For more information on Get Kids Going!, visit www.getkidsgoing. com/homepage.html.

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk

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