Visually impaired running novice Jonathan Tear, a member of Christ Church, Epsom, recently fulfilled his dream of crossing the finish line at the London Marathon – raising over £5000 for The Children’s Society in the process.
Jonathan ran the infamous 26.2-mile course on 23 April in 4 hours and 16 minutes, guided by friend and former colleague, Meera Nayyer, who made sure he completed the race safely.
Jonathan has been a longstanding supporter of The Children’s Society and knowing the vital funds he has raised will go towards helping the most vulnerable children across the country suffering abuse, hardship and neglect motivated him throughout the tough marathon training and on the course itself.
Reflecting on his personal experiences and determination to make a real difference in children's lives, Jonathan said: “I've overcome some massive challenges in my life, but running the London Marathon was by far the biggest I've ever undertaken!
“Some of the training runs really tested me to my limits but I wanted to do something practical after supporting The Children’s Society for so many years and I’m really proud to have run the London marathon for them.”
The senior civil servant has macular degeneration and started to lose his sight when he was eight years old. It has deteriorated over the years and now he can only see outlines of objects in his peripheral vision. Jonathan’s disability has never held him back and his positive mind set is something he makes sure to pass onto everyone he works with and coaches. He is currently the head football coach for the under 13s pan-disability team at Chelsea Football Club’s training ground in Cobham.
He has been coaching there for the last seven years and provides training for children with a range of disabilities including mobility and sensory impairments, as well as physical and learning disabilities. Jonathan knows how challenging life can be for young people, and is determined to help children have the best chance in life.
Jonathan added: “Having been told at an early age that due to the nature of my visual impairment, I would struggle to achieve much in my life, I've gone on to prove all the ‘experts’ wrong and I always try to share this with the team of young people I coach at Chelsea.”
The Children’s Society’s Challenge Events Co-ordinator, Reena Ruda said: “We are so grateful to Jonathan for his inspiring efforts and determination to help vulnerable children and young people. Every penny raised by Jonathan and all our marathon runners will help The Children’s Society continue its life-changing work with children who often have nowhere else to turn.”
Jonathan’s online sponsorship page can be viewed at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jonathan-Tear