Will Fortnam, Newell Green High School, Withenshawe

7th October 2005 at 01:00
A spirit of adventure motivates Will Fortnam to aim high: in competitive archery and outdoor adventure. Earlier this year Will, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, made a big impact on staff at Manchester's Ghyll Head outdoor education centre in Windermere, when he scaled a 40-ft tree to use the centre's zip wire. "I had mates who pulled me up really hard," he recalls. "You get up to this platform and then either step off or the instructors push you off. I leaned forward and fell off. A few people did find it nerve-racking, but I'm fine with heights."

Will, 14, has started GCSEs in Year 10 at Newell Green high school in Withenshawe, and hopes to go to Oxford or Cambridge university. He started archery four years ago after a family visit to a medieval castle. Apart from his coach, who also uses a wheelchair, he is the only disabled member of his club, the Bowmen of Bruntwood, in Cheadle. Will shoots in competitions most weekends, has competed twice in British junior national championships and in his county team, and hopes to be selected for the 2012 Paralympics in London.

* Ghyll Head's outdoor education centre has opened a barrier-free accommodation block, improving access to residential courses for students with disabilities. See www.ghyllheadoec.co.uk

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