Open Day celebrates four years of wheelchair racing at Bedford Athletics Stadium

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Wheelchair Racing at Bedford International Athletics Stadium Image: Bedford Wheelchair Racing / Facebook

After four years, Bedford’s sole team of wheelchair racers celebrated an anniversary this weekend by hosting an Open Day at Bedford International Athletics Stadium.

Perhaps the most decorated of Bedford’s talented team is Varun Bandi, who has been selected for the England training squad and at just 17-years old harbours ambitions for a future spot in the Great Britain Paralympics team.

Other awards such as the Junior Disabled Sportsman of the Year award at the annual Bedford Sports Awards and the Young Achiever award at our very own Everyday Heroes Awards in 2020, the future certainly looks bright in the world of wheelchair racing for Bandi.

Finding the next Varun Bandi

The journey towards the Paralympics for Bandi all began at a charity Open Day, and he became the first member of the club with the encouragement of Howard Darbon, the manager of Bedford Wheelchair Racing.

From there, the club has grown to help individuals get into the sport and while the costs of doing so are not insignificant, Darbon hopes that the open day will help participation.

Varun Bandi receiving his Sporting Hero Award

Varun was awarded his Young Citizen Sporting Hero Award by the President of the Bedford Rotary Club, Brian Garner and Sharmila Harman who is a new coach with the Bedford team, but is also the President of the Nepalese Paralympic Association.

“We want to thank all of those individuals and organisations who have supported the club in its formative years”, said Wheelchair Racing manager, Howard Darbon.

“We want to be able to demonstrate the achievements of our young members and we’re in a position to expand the membership with our qualified coaches raring to go to assist.”