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Last year, 26-year-old Harley Salter from Portsmouth became the first person to participate in the London Marathon using an Alinker walking bike. This followed his Guinness World Record title for the fastest 10km on a seated tri-wheeled walking bike in October 2019.
But this summer, he has a new challenge as 2021 is the year of the ‘Alinkerlympics’ – a concept created by Harley’s mum, Vanessa, which will see him complete 21 Olympic sport-inspired challenges in and around Portsmouth to raise money for Chestnut Tree House.
Harley is no stranger to taking on challenges. From abseiling the Spinnaker Tower and taking on the world’s fastest zipline, to the Virtual London Marathon, he has raised over £15,000 for various local and national charities.
These achievements are incredible, but even more so when you consider that Harley has a range of moderate to severe cognitive and physical disabilities, including Autism, Tourette’s, Anxiety, OCD, XYY Syndrome and Hypermobility. He is also a Symes amputee having had his right foot amputated in July 2018 due to a congenital birth defect which severely impacted his mobility.
“Harley has achieved more than could ever have been imagined,” explains his mum, Vanessa. “He has defied expectations and made the impossible possible through his sheer courage, stamina and determination. Every day is a challenge and everything he’s taken on has been mentally and physically demanding, but he never gives up. He embraces every opportunity with vigour and enthusiasm.”
Explaining what Harley’s support means to Chestnut Tree House, fundraiser Tracey Shaw said: “Fundraising during the pandemic has been challenging for all charities and we’ve been relying on support from our local community more than ever. We’ve been blown away by the different ways people have been showing their support, and as soon as I spoke to Harley and Vanessa, I knew there was something truly inspirational about this challenge. I’m looking forward to following Harley’s Alinkerlympic journey and I’m sure his determination and spirit will inspire others. Thank you, Harley, and good luck!”
Talking about the ‘Alinkerlympics’, Harley said: “It’s so exciting, I can’t wait to get started. My mum will be supporting me all the way as she always does. I am inevitable!”