Blackpool Football Club’s Safeguarding Officer Will Cowell is taking on the challenge of a lifetime in aid of the National Autistic Society.
The 34-year-old, who is also aiming to raise awareness of autism, will be participating in the Montane Lakeland 100 in July – a gruelling 100-mile run through the rugged terrain of the Lake District within a period of 40 hours.
What’s more, only 50 per cent of competitors manage to complete the challenge, which also requires you to navigate with a map and reach various checkpoints within an allotted time.
Driving him on to succeed in the Montane Lakeland 100 will be the funds raised for the charity and Will’s son William, who has recently been diagnosed with autism at the age of four.
“From being a baby my son hardly slept, failed to reach important milestones and was non-verbal until the age of four. After we received the diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) we felt lost as to what to do next,” he explained.
“That’s when we contacted the National Autistic Society. As well as helping my family and I to access social and educational services, they gave us the essential emotional support we needed to adjust our expectations of how our family’s future would unfold.
“Although it is just me who is doing the running, my whole family is working hard to allow me the training time I need to be in with a chance of finishing the marathon.
“Knowing that I have their support and that of JustGiving donors will push me even harder to keep going.”
To support Will in his challenge and raise funds for the National Autistic Society, please click here.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be 'cured'. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
For further information about Autism and the National Autistic Society, please visit autism.org.uk