Tredegar's Mark Colbourne chases third Paralympic medal

GOLDEN BOY: Mark Colbourne

CHARITY WORK: Mark Colboure, left, at Asda, Blackwood in 2004 when he was collecting old mobile phones for recycling in his capacity as fundraising officer for the Hospice of the Valleys

First published in News

TREDEGAR paracyclist Mark Colbourne will go for his third medal at the London 2012 games today, knowing he has the full backing of the Valleys charity he used to work for.

He was roared home to gold last Friday by excited volunteers at the Hospice of the Valleys, the charity based in his home town that both he and his late father, Cecil, supported.

Mark worked as a fundraiser for the charity for 18 months from 2003, arranging two of the hospice’s annual Lap of the Lake fun runs, which take place around Bryn Bach Park lake in Tredegar, and raises around £10,000 for the hospice annually.

Helping out at the hospice has been a real family affair, with Mark’s late father, Cecil, who died in February of stomach cancer, being fondly remembered by staff at the charity.

Cecil signed up as a volunteer when Mark joined the team.

He drove a van around Blaenau Gwent for almost ten years, collecting donated items and delivering them to the chain of charity shops, and last year played a large part in helping to get the hospice’s new shop in Ebbw Vale open on schedule. Just months later, though, he became ill with cancer and was himself a patient at the hospice.

After taking gold on Friday Mark dedicated his win to his father, who he had previously described to the Argus as his best friend.

Helen Morgan, fundraiser for the hospice, who worked with Cecil for several years, added: “Cecil was devoted to his only son and often talked of his bravery in overcoming his injuries after the paragliding accident.

“He was very proud of Mark’s achievements .”

Miss Morgan said the whole team had listened to his win on the radio and were looking forward to welcoming him back to Tredegar.

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