South Cheshire Paralympic hero Andy Small was given a VIP welcome to Mornflake in Crewe where he visited the firm’s new shop and received a surprise presentation.
The wheelchair racer, who scooped gold in Tokyo this summer, was presented with a hamper of his favourite Mornflake oats, a branded sweatshirt and donation to his racing kit as he trains for the World Para Athletics Championships in Japan next summer.
Andy, 28, from Nantwich, is featuring in the company’s Mighty People campaign which celebrates the stellar achievements of inspirational people worldwide in a newsletter and across social platforms.
The para-athlete, who begins mornings with Mornflake porridge topped with banana, took gold in a thrilling 100 metre race adding to an array of medals notched up over the years including bronze in 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Since his return he has been the focus of much media attention with TV presenters and national newspapers keen to tell the story of a young man who was born the country’s smallest baby at 1lbs 6oz and rose to Paralympic champion.
Mornflake Managing Director James Lea said: “We were delighted to meet Andy and make a donation to his kit. He’s a Mighty person in every sense and not only a great athlete. His positive attitude to life has made him an inspirational ambassador for disabled people on a global platform.”
Andy, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was inspired to take up the sport while watching the Paralympic Games in London in 2012. He then joined Stockport Wheelchair Racing, part of Stockport Harriers, not only to pursue the sport but meet other young disabled people.
His can-do attitude is seen across his social platforms. He said: “The club has given me friendship and fantastic support over the years. I can’t deny winning medals is great, but more importantly I would like my success to inspire disabled children and show them they can achieve at anything they want to do.
“Self-improvement, personal growth and pushing boundaries is vital to me as a sportsman. Being disabled shouldn’t define me or anyone like me. Life is fun and full of great adventures.”
His parents, retired English teachers Steve and Jenny Small, were seen rooting for their son on the British Paralympic Association Facebook page as he raced to the finish line in 17.73 seconds on a blisteringly hot day. The media whirlwind that followed Tokyo has included interviews on Channel 4’s The Last Leg, BBC Breakfast and ITV Good Morning Britain.
Recognition on home turf has touched Andy’s heart with local people keen to say hello and grab a ‘selfie’ including employees at Mornflake. He took in his medal – sustainably made from gold and recycled computer materials, he was pleased to share.
Meanwhile training is underway for next summer’s world challenge and a hearty breakfast is key.
Andy starts training days with aptly-named Mornflake Superfast Oats. He added: “My diet is pretty strict due to my condition and training needs but mornings are bliss. Mornflake oats are good fuel but also a comforting treat.”
The shop in Mornflake reception is stocked with top-selling oat products proudly made in Cheshire as well as a range of T-shirts, sweatshirts and body-warmers.
For more on the shop and Mighty People series go to www.mornflake.com