Bret is homing in on the 2020 Paralympics

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A PARATRIATHLETE has set his sights on sporting glory.

Bret Crossley, 43, wants to represent Great Britain at paratriathlon in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Paralympic Games.

Last week the former Rodillian School pupil reflected on his ambitions when he was asked to pose for a portrait session at Normanton Camera Club.

Mr Crossley, from Rothwell, said: “I’ve set my goals high for the future. Rio came too soon for me development-wise unfortunately but I’m hoping to challenge for a place at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia in 2018. Beyond that my ultimate ambition and dream would be to represent GB at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.”

Before his accident, Mr Crossley was an established motorcycle racer in the UK. He was set to retire in 2006 but he had a serious accident in his final race in Scarborough. He was lucky to survive but he suffered spinal cord injuries which left him wheelchair dependent for life.

In 2009 the sportsman went on a multi-activity course run by the charity Back Up, which supports people with spinal cord injuries. Since then he has competed in marathons, wheelchair racing and began training for Paratriathlon, which comprises swimming, hand-cycling and wheelchair racing.

Last year he represented GB at Strathclyde, Buffalo City in South Africa and at the World Championships in Rotterdam where he won the Open Race.

Mr Crossley is now an ambassador for Back Up and last week he picked up a £200 cheque from Normanton Camera Club following his photoshoot there. His proud mum Judith Macbeth is one of the club’s members. She sent the Express these pictures of her son in his Great Britain gear and clutching silverware.

Mr Crossley added: “So I’ve gone from considering life being confined to a wheelchair as my worst nightmare to living one that is a long way from!”