Nursing assistant Rick Betts has been called up as one of four athletics coaches to travel to the Brazilian Paralympic Schools Games athletics tournament in the South American country later this month.Rick, who over the last 18 years has been involved in club athletics coaching for Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) at Clairville Stadium in the town, received the call from the selectors just days after his 14 year-old prodigy Amy Carr had received her squad confirmation.
Amy, who lives in Eaglescliffe and has cerebral palsy, had recently won the UK School Games 100 metres title in Manchester and earlier in the year won the bronze medal in the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games held at Stoke Mandeville, where she was competing against girls up to eight years her senior. She is a considered a good prospect for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Rick, who is a nursing assistant in the centre for trauma and theatres at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, will fly out to Sao Paulo with Amy and the rest of the squad on Saturday (22 November). Earlier this year, Rick also won the England Athletics Coach of the Year Award for the North East region.
A delighted and honoured Rick said: “When I received the phone call for Amy’s selection I was delighted for her as she has worked really hard this last year.
“When I received my call I was actually a bit numb as I didn’t expect my first international experience to be in Brazil. It will be a great learning experience for Amy and myself as we target bigger things in the years to come.
“I’d also like to thank my department managers for allowing me to arrange my annual leave at such short notice, if not for them I would not have been able to take up this marvellous opportunity”