A Newton Mearns boy who hopes to represent Team GB at the Paralympics has thanked Cosgrove Care for helping him achieve the first part of his dream.
Cormac O’Hara (17) has autism and epilepsy but has overcome his difficulties to become one of disabled athletics’ most promising prospects.
The Williamwood High depute head boy and his family have been working with Cosgrove Care for the past three and a half years and they have no doubt about the positive impact it has had on his sporting achievements and personal development.
In that time he has won a host of gold medals at disability events across Scotland and most recently became a British Champion at 800m and 1500m.
“Cosgrove has been one of the best things that’s happened to me,” explained Cormac. “I find it difficult to socialise but the befriending service Cosgrove offers has meant I’ve had loads of support from helpers.
“This has allowed me to visit places and do things I wouldn’t normally have done.”
On any normal week, Cormac’s befriender will spend Saturday afternoons with him.
But it’s the service which he gets on a Thursday evening which has really helped Cormac’s athletics career, as his mum Yvonne explains.
She said: “On Thursdays Cormac trains with the Red Star disability sports club in the East End of Glasgow. With two younger siblings and his dad out working, it’s impossible for me to get him across the city and stay with him.
“That’s where Cosgrove’s help has been invaluable. The befriender service has meant that Cormac can be accompanied to the running track and brought back safely, while accessing specialist coaching.”
The commitment really has paid dividends. Cormac’s performances have been noticed by British Athletics, who invited him to trial for a Paralympian Pathway programme. Cormac was successful and GB Athletics will now take Cormac under their wing, in the hope that he will represent GB in either 2024 or 2028.
Cormac recently took part in the Maccabi GB 5k to raise money for Cosgrove Care in appreciation of all the great work they do for him and many others.
He said: “I can’t thank Cosgrove enough for what they’ve done for me and my family.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it to the Paralympics, but if I do, I will remember the big contribution they have made to any success I am lucky enough to have.”