Going for gold

PUBLISHED: 15:01 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:00 30 May 2010

William Palmer with his medals

William Palmer with his medals

A SCHOOLBOY won FOUR gold medals and a bronze at a national competition, which was held in Birmingham at the weekend. Nine-year-old William Palmer, of Braintree Road, Felsted, took home the awards in swimming, football, basketball and hockey at the annual

A SCHOOLBOY won FOUR gold medals and a bronze at a national competition, which was held in Birmingham at the weekend.

Nine-year-old William Palmer, of Braintree Road, Felsted, took home the awards in swimming, football, basketball and hockey at the annual Dwarf Athletic Association's (DAA's) National Dwarf Games.

Proud mother Anita Palmer said: "Of course the winning is lovely, but for me it's more about the participation. He never gives up and every day he achieves something I didn't think he would be able to do."

The three-day competition saw 128 dwarf athletes, aged from three to 58, compete in a variety of track and field events, as well as swimming and team sports.

Keen sportsman William is diagnosed with achondroplasia (dwarfism), but does not let this interfere with his love of swimming.

With lessons two or three times a week and a member of the Otter Swim Club in Felsted, William was able to turn his hard work into gold at the national competition.

"He has always been a very sporty child, but it is getting harder for him to participate in team activities with his peers because he is only the size of a three-year-old," said Mrs Palmer.

"He became the under-10 swimming champion, but it was also fantastic he could compete in team games - it was the first time he had played football or hockey."

William, who attends FKS Schools in Felsted, is hoping to join Braintree swimming club later in the year so he can repeat his success at next year's games.

Travelling up to Birmingham on Friday night with his father Steven, William spent the weekend competing. "It was a very social occasion and he had the best weekend of his life," said Mrs Palmer.

DAAUK development officer Tim Shephard said: "This was the first major event that William has participated in and he did exceptionally well."

Mrs Palmer said: "William has two sisters and a brother who are very supportive of him and his school is excellent.

"It is still important to raise greater awareness about his condition."

For more information about the National Dwarf Games and the DAA visit www.daauk.org

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