A determined seven-year-old athlete from Oban has powered his way to one gold and four silver medals at the Dwarf Sports Association Games.
After missing out for two years due to the pandemic, Lewis West, a pupil at Dunbeg Primary School, took part in the national competition over the weekend.
The West family made a 750-mile round trip to take part in the games that are held in Wolverhampton.
Lewis got to meet with friends and celebrities
As well as being able to compete in events with other young people, Lewis got to meet up with friends and celebrities at the games.
Proud dad Graham West said the event allowed his son who was born with restricted growth to meet up with other young people with a similar condition.
He said socialising with other children and young people was as equally important as the games themselves.
Mr West, who runs the Go Naked Veg shop in Oban with wife Catriona, said: “There is a one in 80,000 chance of people of average height having a child with restricted growth.
“So living where we do in Argyll, where it is somewhat remote and rural, for Lewis to meet other children with restricted growth it can be quite difficult. So the National Dwarf Games are really special.
“We are all buzzing from it. It is a full on weekend from Friday to Monday.
“Lewis started going to the National Dwarf Games when he was two and the last two years have been cancelled.
Lewis ‘melted’ his parents heart
“When he was five, Lewis took part but he wasn’t really that competitive – we had to keep reminding him what he had to do.”
But this year, two years on from the last games, Lewis was said to have “melted” his parents’ hearts.
This year Lewis competed in running in two different lengths the 10-metre and 20-metre races, where he took a silver medal in both.
His team picked up gold in the hockey event, and a silver for football.
Mr West explained walking or running any distance can be difficult with this particular disability – so every step was an achievement.
After receiving funding from the Dwarf Sports Association, Lewis has been using a specially adapted pedal bike. He competed at the cycling events on his bike, with a little help from dad and mum.
Lewis needed moral support to take part in the cycling
“Lewis needed us to be right with him when he was cycling. That meant running alongside and barely touching his t-shirt. But it gave him the confidence he needed and we got confirmation he has won the silver in cycling as well.
“Saying we are proud doesn’t even come close.”
Mr West continued: “What the games are really all about is letting kids know that they are not out there alone. They are about letting kids know that they are not restricted in spite of their disability and they can achieve their dreams.
“Anything is possible.”