When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Car park attendant will be first reserve for Team GB
BY day, Carl Pearce works part-time as a car park attendant at Sainsbury ’s in Tadley. But the 47-year-old father-of-three has a talent which has seen him selected for the Paralympics as a first reserve for Team GB.
Carl, who was formerly a Flight Sergeant in the RAF, will be waiting in the wings at the Olympic village from September 4 until September 9, ready to step in if any of the team are unable to compete in the discus event.
Carl had his right leg amputated above the knee around four years ago after an arterial bypass left him with septicaemia.
Despite being confined to a wheelchair, he threw himself into training, spending 21 hours every week practising his throw.
His love of the sport has also cost him more than £16,000 on travelling to and from tournaments and training sessions in the last few years as he has been unable to secure sponsorship.
He said: “I used to throw in the RAF and after losing my leg, I needed to keep busy. Discus has become my passion.
“I am looking forward to the Paralympics and I was honoured to have been chosen as a first reserve.
“Obviously, I would love the chance to be able to compete. I’m 48 next month so I think this is my last chance to be involved in the Paralympics.
“My family are proud and if I do get the call they will be coming to see me in action.
“I’ve done plenty of competitions before but they have been mainly local – this will be on a completely different scale.”
Over the last three years, the talented athlete, who lives in Thatcham, has achieved four gold, six silver and twelve bronze medals in the National Class Discus.