An England Deaf International cricketer is “absolutely buzzing” to be taking part in his second Liverpool half marathon this weekend.

James Dixon is running the race for the secind year in a row and will be raising finds to support Panathlon Challenge, a national charity that gives young people with disabilities and special educational needs the opportunity to participate in competitive sport.

The UK Deaf Sport Ambassador said: “I am looking forward to having a good day of running and absolutely buzzing to complete the Liverpool half marathon this Sunday.”

Cross country running - Picture by farmama - Creative Commons

Dixon also sees the run as good fitness practice ahead of the cricket season that returns at the start of next month.

He said: “I have always liked running short distances, it will be another challenge to run well in my second half marathon, but I want to enjoy it and have fun.

“I have been working on my fitness related to cricket as strength and conditioning sessions and running as well, and it will be really useful to have my second half marathon run as part of my pre-season training before the cricket season starts on April 9.”

Since starting work for Panathlon Challenge in May 2021, Dixon has taken on an important role to give children access to competitive sport.

He said: “My role is the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Schools Event officer for Merseyside schools and North West England Deaf/Hard of Hearing schools events, and also a Disability Sports Coach to visit the SEND schools and Mainstream schools with SEND Units.”

The launch of Panathlon Challenge in September 2020 was in response to the COVID pandemic and enables schools to run their own Panathlon competitions safely on-site. This initiative has been continued by schools despite the relaxing of Covid-19 regulations.

“We have some core aims as an organisation which centres around providing knowledge and training for teachers of children with SEND and additional needs in non-traditional sports,” explained Dixon.

“While trying to provide both team and individual competitive sporting opportunities for SEND pupils and improve communication and interaction opportunities for SEND Pupils”.

Dixon’s passion for giving opportunities to others is something he holds close to his heart and is the core reason as to why he is supporting Panthlon Challenge by completing the half marathon this Sunday.

He explained: “I have been chosen to support Panathlon Challenge because I want to help children with disabilities, additional needs and medical conditions get involved in more adaptive activity sessions, inclusive sport and to take part in the competitions to break the barriers from physical activity and sport.”

“I want all pupils with disability or additional needs to show their medal and certificate to schools, families and friends to make them very proud of it.”

The Liverpool Half Marathon will take place this Sunday and Dixon will hope to inspire others to engage with Panathlon Challenges initiative.