A teenager who was advised to take up cycling to help combat problems caused by years of epileptic seizures is now saddling up to complete hundreds of miles every week.
Thomas Goodall, who was diagnosed when he was five, was told by a doctor that he should get on his bike to help strengthen the left side of his body left weak from years of daily seizures.
Advised to take up ‘gentle’ cycling, the 17-year-old student now bikes to New College every day from his Pontefract home, rides 30 miles on an evening and ups his mileage to at least 60 miles a day at weekends and has been taking part in organised 100-mile rides.
He recently took part in the Prince of Wales Cyclothon which started and finished in Pontefract Park. And he also helped raise £500 for the Epilepsy Society.
Thomas, who is on course for distinction grades in BTEC business, BTEC media and BTEC IT, said: “I’m totally convinced that cycling has played a huge role in keeping my epilepsy under control.
“It’s a huge release that helps to clear my mind of everything else happening in my life.
“For some that might be stress at home or work, for me it’s epilepsy.
“Cycling is the only sport I’ve found in which you can channel the negativity in your life and turn it on its head, pushing harder and harder and breaking through barriers that you never thought possible.
“The absolute worst thing you can do is sit on the sofa and feel sorry for yourself.”
Thomas, who continues to take medication for epilepsy, is now saving up for a carbon bike, which will set him back at least £1,500 for an entry level model, so he can start racing.
Gareth Dodson, marketing manager for New College’s trust, New Collaborative, said: “Thomas’ story is inspiring, it proves that by having self-discipline, determination and commitment, you can make real positive changes in your life.
“New College prides itself on promoting these values, and seeing Tom succeed both inside and outside of college makes us all immensely proud.
“It also highlights some of the rewards that leading an active, healthy lifestyle can bring.”