An opportunity to play wheelchair basketball has given a Cardigan Secondary School student a new lease of life following six years of intensive cancer treatment.

In April 2010, Conrad Thackray was diagnosed with leukaemia and had a secondary cancerous tumour wrapped around his spinal cord and after several hours of surgery to remove the tumour from his spine, he was left unable to walk. Following this major operation, Conrad had 4 years of chemotherapy.

However six years down the road, Conrad is now learning to live his life in his chair through sport, after an invitation to play wheelchair basketball with Disability Sports Wales, helped turn his life around.

Conrad who is 18 now plays wheelchair basketball for West Wales Warriors in Aberystwyth and the young man under the tuition and support of Lee Coulson and Anna Jackson, coaches of the Wales U15 and U19 has gone on to represent Wales U19 at the National junior championships.

To continue developing it was essential that he had his own chair and Conrad was recently measured up for his own basketball chair as this important piece of bespoke equipment will enhance his training and hopefully further his career in Welsh wheelchair basketball.

The chair costs £4,700 and will give him the ability to train and play the same level of professional basketball as his team mates.

There has been tremendous support within the local community in fundraising for the new chair including a head shave by Gavin Palmer which proved to be highly successful and raffle ticket sales and other donations made by very generous people of the Cardigan Bikers, Seven Stars Pub, and all those who purchased Raffles tickets from Yana Bosco, who have worked hard at raising awareness and funds, plus other kind donations.

The most recent and very successful fundraising event , the Conrad’s Ride Out was organised by General Motors Club admin Neil Baxter along with Anthony Goellnitz and his team from Coleg Ceredigion and they carried out a ‘rolling road’ fund raising event. They have so far raised almost £2,000.

Conrad’s chair is currently under production and will be ready in January but there is still a further few hundred pounds to raise in order to reach the amount, if anyone is interested in donating, would you kindly let us at Sportsline know.

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