Ballina Australia Day awards

Christopher Hendry with his trainer Peter Stephenson who nominated Chris for the Sportsperson of the Year Award.

When Christopher Hendrys mother Mary Ellen marched across the middle of the sports oval and asked Peter Stephenson to train her son he couldnt think of anything to say, but yes.

She said my sons got a disability and would I take him on, said Peter, who has trained many an able-bodied athlete but none with disabilites.

Five years later and Christopher, who has a mild intellectual disability and suffers from epilepsy, has been named Ballinas 2007 Sportsperson of the Year and is off to China to compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in October this year.

Chris is great to train, said Peter, who nominated Christopher for the award. Hes got this incredible will to just continuously improve and he could give some able-bodied athletes a run for their money!

Christopher has excelled in track and field over the past five years, winning in the NSW championships and Australian championships. At the Special Olympics he will compete in the 100 metre, 200 metre, relay and long jump, and Peter is predicting hell bring home a medal.

Christopher will take on anything and he never shirks the task at hand, said Peter. Hes a great influence on the young kids that I train because hes shown them that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Hes just a great bloke.

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