Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Silsden boy Evan Whitton will help light Paralympic flame
8:33am Friday 27th July 2012 in Local news
An eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, who underwent life-changing surgery to enable him to walk, has been chosen to represent Yorkshire at a Paralympic flame ceremony in London.
Evan Whitton, of Silsden , will be given the superstar treatment during a ceremony in Trafalgar Square next month after he was selected as Yorkshire and Humber’s Flame Ambassador.
The schoolboy has been in a wheelchair for most of his life but underwent a life-changing operation in the US in 2010, enabling him to walk to school for the first time in May.
Evan said: “When I do this I’m going to feel like a Hollywood superstar! I can’t wait to be in London.”
Evan was motivated by a London 2012 Inspire Mark project called Walk the History of the Games, a programme designed to encourage children to walk, scoot or cycle to school.
And, when Evan undertook his first walk to school, he was cheered along by Paralympic wheelchair racer and world record holder Hannah Cockcroft.
She said: “I can't think of anyone who deserves this honour more than little Evan. He was a huge inspiration to me with his bravery and determination.
“He is living proof that there really are no excuses in life. I really hope it motivates him as much as carrying the Olympic Torch motivated me. Evan Whitton is a superstar.”
The Paralympic Flame will be presented to Evan in a specially adapted miner’s lantern at the London flame lighting event in Trafalgar Square on Friday, August 24.
It will then travel by train to York where it will be split into five flames which will feature at Paralympic themed events in York, Sheffield, Leeds, Beverley and Huddersfield over the August Bank Holiday .
Evan’s dad, Andrew, 40, said: “It is such a great honour. He’s done the walk to school and that seemed crazy enough but this is out of this world. It is the chance of a lifetime.”
The London 2012 Paralympic Games will take place from August 29 to September 9.