A TALENTED disabled wheelchair racer’s training has been disrupted after his step father’s bike was stolen during a raid at his family’s home.
Jamie Edwards, a student at Richard Huish College in Taunton who has cerebral palsy, is currently ranked second in the UK and third in the world for his classification in wheelchair racing, and has his sights set on completing the Mini London Wheelchair Marathon on April 23.
But his training has been harder than usual after thieves took his step dad’s bike and Jamie’s training gloves, worth £120.
When out training on the road, Jamie needs escorting as otherwise he is too low to be seen and training becomes too dangerous.
Wendy Inder, Jamie’s mum, said: “On Easter morning Jamie couldn’t wait to go out road training with his step dad Colin as he had just taken delivery of a brand new custom-made racing wheelchair.
“It had been on order since September.
“Jamie was keen to practice on the road rather than the track as he is doing the London Mini Wheelchair Marathon next weekend for charity.
“Colin said he would go and get his mountain bike ready to accompany him, when he noticed the garage was open and the bike was gone, as well as some other items.
“Our Easter morning was then taken up by calls to 101 and then a visit from the police to take some more details.
“Jamie has a six-year-old sister who had been waiting all morning to do an Easter egg hunt and kept asking where the Easter bunny was.
“I had to explain the bunny was shy and would only come out when the policeman had gone.”
Not letting the actions of thoughtless yobs dampen his spirits, Jamie and his stepdad took to the road with an old bike and an old pair of gloves.
But the old gloves caused Jamie a great deal of pain as wheelchair racers have to punch the wheels, instead of pushing them.
Mrs Inder added: “Jamie has not let this deter him however, and he went out road training anyway, although not able to do as well as he hoped because of the old gloves being painful to use.
“Jamie is annoyed they took his new gloves, as he was just ‘breaking the tough leather in’.
“They are also very expensive, approx £120, they were a Christmas present.
“New ones are not easy to source and take time to break in.”
The family says they have been inundated with offers from the community to lend them a bikes, and people offering to buy Jamie some new gloves.
But instead of giving them money, Jamie would like people to instead make a donation to the charity he is supporting during the mini marathon, Clic Sargent, as it has supported two of his friends this year.
Details of how to donate can be found on the Jamie Edwards Wheelchair Racer Facebook page.
A spokesman from Avon and Somerset Police said an investigation was underway.
“We can confirm we received reports of a bike theft at a property in Taunton on April 16,” said a spokesman.
“We believe the bike was taken some time after 9.30pm the night before (April 15).
“An investigation is underway and we are looking into a number of enquiries.”