Jack Pegram, Bushey Meads secondary school, Hertfordshire

7th July 2006 at 01:00
Muddy football boots are nothing compared with a set of muddy wheels, which is what prompted international wheelchair footballer Jack Pegram, 14, to think up his prize-winning design for an automatic wheel cleaner.

Jack has cerebral palsy and is in Year 9 at Bushey Meads secondary school in Hertfordshire. His regular sporting commitments include swimming, table tennis, cricket and karate. He discovered wheelchair football in 2002, at a weekend run by the wheelchair activity charity Aspire.

Since then he has played regularly for England, most recently as winger in the national team which scored a 3:1 win over their French counterparts in Paris. It was while coming back from a sodden football training session in the park, waiting for his mother to lift him out of his chair and carry him indoors, so the mud could be painstakingly removed from the wheels and not trailed all over the house, that he realised what the family needed was a special mat equipped with rollers and brushes, to clean the mud off his wheelchair as it passed over it.

"The idea just came to me," he explains. "I haven't tried making it yet, but I'm hoping to".

Meanwhile, he entered his design for the Mobility Roadshow's Ready, Willing and Mobile Design competition for children aged 12-14, organised by charity Mobility Choice. It won him a pound;50 prize, a chance to meet international athlete Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson (above), and an outdoor activity weekend - no doubt with plenty of mud.

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