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Biker boy Dannon (9) wins national prize




Bikeability star Dannon with his family. SG180518-133TW (2094550)
Bikeability star Dannon with his family. SG180518-133TW (2094550)

A little lad with cerebral palsy has beaten 200,000 children to be the first ever national Bikeability Trainee of the Year.

Dannon Butler has hemiparesis, a slight paralysis or weakness in his right side, and he's tried in vain since he was three-and-a-half to ride a conventional bike.

Everything changed for Dannon when his mum and dad, Carrie and Paul, bought him an adapted KMX recumbent trike - which gives him a similar riding position to sitting in a go-kart.

The shiny new wheels gave Dannon the confidence to take on and triumph in Bikeability's Level 1 and 2, impressing instructors at training firm Outspoken.

Dannon was short-listed for the national honour and travelled to London on Thursday with his dad to discover he had won the Trainee of the Year (Pete Rollings Award).

Paul (40) said: "He was excited and a bit nervous, there were probably about 200 people in the room when he was announced as the winner."

Mum Carrie (37) told us: "As you can imagine, we are very proud of him as is his school, Pinchbeck East Primary."

Carrie said it was Dannon's perseverance and determination that so impressed his instructors.

The awards ceremony was open to Dannon "plus one", which left most of the family waiting at home in Pinchbeck to hear the result.

Carrie said: "He couldn't wait to give us a ring to let us know that he had won.

"He hasn't stopped smiling since ... it's made him really chirpy and he's dancing around all over the place."

While hemiparesis affects the left side of Dannon's brain, most physical effects are in the right side of his body and he has almost no motor skills in his right hand.

Happily Dannon has good use of his right leg, which allows him to play football, and he swims.

Carrie said: "We do try to keep him as active as possible so he doesn't stiffen up any more than is going to happen. We don't really know what the prognosis is long term but the more he uses his affected side the better the outlook, really."

The KMX gave the whole family a new lease of life because it meant Dannon could keep up with mum and dad when, previously, he would tire while walking.

Carrie and Paul told The Bikeability Trust: "We are a very active family so can now enjoy dog walks, bike rides and Geocaching outings with Dannon on his KMX.

"The instructors have left a lasting positive impression on Dannon, and we can't thank Outspoken enough for what they have done."

Dannon's national prize included a £50 voucher from Halford's and he's thinking of spending that on a flag to make his trike more visible on the roads.

Dannon has a sister Hettie (3) and a brother Jack, who is eight-months-old.



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