Kent man with cerebral palsy told he can't take part in virtual London Marathon

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A man from Kent has been told he can't take part in the virtual London Marathon because he won't be able to complete it in 24 hrs.

Pride of Britain Winner, Pat Barden, who has cerebral palsy, says he feels discriminated against - BUT he says it won't stop him. 

The 29-year-old football coach from Shorne in Kent has taken part in sky dives, and sponsored events to raise money for the charity Step and Learn, which has made a huge difference to his life. 

Pat has already walked the Manchester and London Marathons - but had to do it in his own time, outside of the organised events. 

In 2017 Pat Barden walked the London Marathon outside of the organised event

When the opportunity to take part in the virtual London Marathon came about - he thought it was his chance to compete alongside everyone else. 

Pat was told he couldn't take part because he couldn't complete it in a 24 hour time frame. 

Colin Barden, Pat's father said: "The thing this time which is more disappointing is that it's virtual and he can do it here.

"There's really nothing needed from the London Marathon team at all - just the acknowledgment that he can do it and that's all he's after, really.

"It's just to show that people with disabilities, particularly cerebral palsy in Patrick's case, can do these things if they really want to."

London Marathon Events have apologised to Pat and said in a statement:

"We passionately believe in sport for all are working on an extensive review to make all events as inclusive as possible. 

"We have done a lot in recent years to make our events more inclusive but we know we need to do more.

"Currently there are a number of people who are not able to take part in our events for a variety of reasons, including the rules of the sport of athletics which do not permit people to be pushed or assisted, road reopening times, time limits and other reasons. "

Pat says he's not shocked he was refused the opportunity - but disappointed. It's rejection that drives him. "I like it when people say 'you can't do that' - but I do it anyway" he says.