Paralympian targeting Paris medal searches for sports stars of the future

Nathan Maguire spoke to our Sports Correspondent Chris Hall

A Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athlete is looking for the sporting stars and medal winners of the future.

Wheelchair racer Nathan Maguire is trying to build the confidence of youngsters to compete at the highest level. The 26-year-old, from Salford, wants to encourage others with disabilities to try out new sports.

ITV News caught up with Nathan at the WheelPower Sports Festival in Liverpool which encourages participation in wheelchair sports.

Maguire won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and wants others to aim for success Credit: PA

The 2022 Commonwealth 1500m T54 champion said: "I got a spinal injury when I was eight years old.

"My immune system, overnight, attacked my spinal cord and thought I was an illness.

"I was discharged from hospital on the 24th of December, and then by the 5th of January I was playing wheelchair basketball.

"Sport has such a role within rehabilitation for disability. I really feel like that is the reason I'm so active now."

The para-athlete believes he can inspire a new generation of medal winners. Credit: ITV News

Maguire could not resist giving career advice to two youngsters at the festival, Willow and Pigeon.

Willow said he told them that "we look like good wheelchair racers."

"When you're just out by yourself, or with one other person," she said, "it feels like you get stared at so much. But coming here - it's everyone."

Pigeon added: "Here, we're just normal. It feels a bit unreal. I don't really see myself as a very athletic person."

Pigeon and Willow were among those who got advice for a future sporting career. Credit: ITV News

Event organiser, Ella Willott, said: "We've met people who become disabled through an accident and that person has sort of shied away from the sport that they used to do when they were non-disabled.

"They've come along to one of our events and got straight back into it. So they've rediscovered their love of their sport."

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