Mercedes put Beijing gold medallist in the driving seat

PUBLISHED: 18:15 28 June 2010 | UPDATED: 14:39 01 July 2010

Dan with his new car

Dan with his new car

Archant

GOLD MEDALLIST Daniel Bentley has secured himself a bumper (to bumper) deal thanks to his sporting exploits over the last 24 months.

The champion paralympian will now be cruising to his boccia matches in a brand new Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport bought from Newmarket dealer Orwell Truck & Van.

The shiny black van has been converted by Peterborough-based specialist Chris Elliott Adaptions and will help Dan to continue living an active and independent life despite having Cerebral Palsy.

“The high driving position and power steering make the van really easy to manoeuvre,” said the 25-year-old from Great Dunmow.

“There’s room inside for a second wheelchair, so I can take friends along with me, while its sporty performance means the Vito is also great fun to drive.”

Dan is currently awaiting his results having just finished a three-year degree course in graphic design at Portsmouth University and also training hard for the British Boccia Championship to be held in Stirling, Scotland, this October.

He is also looking forward to the World Cup in Belfast next year, followed by the biggest one of them all – the London Paralympics in 2012.

Boccia is a target ball sport developed for athletes with severe motor disabilities, and is similar to bowls or petanque. Games are played on a court with low-bounce leather balls, the aim being to throw your balls closest to the ‘jack’.

Dan managed to win gold in the team event at the Beijing games in 2008.

Features on his new car will help him to relax between big sporting occasions. They include a powered, remotely controlled tailgate and an electrically powered tail-lift that allow Dan to board quickly and safely.

Once inside he locks his wheelchair into position between the two front seats and transfers to the driving seat with ease.

Dan has also added steering wheel-mounted controls for everything from the lights and wipers, to his iPod-integrated hi-fi system.

For more info on what Dan is up to, visit gb-boccia.org.

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