A partially-sighted disabled children’s football coach is aiming to fulfil his dream of crossing the finish line at this year’s London Marathon.
Jonathan Tear, a 51-year-old civil servant from Ashtead, is running the famous 26.2 mile course today in aid of The Children’s Society.
He has raised more than £4,000 for the Tadworth charity to go towards helping the most vulnerable children across the country suffering abuse, hardship and neglect.
Mr Tear 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.
Due to his visual impairment he is running with a guide, Meera, who is a friend and former colleague, to make sure he completes the race safely.
Jonathan’s disability has never held him back, and he is currently the head football coach for the under 13s pan-disability team at Chelsea Football Club’s training ground in Cobham.
Jonathan has been a longstanding supporter of The Children’s Society and has given regular monthly donations with his wife since they got married over 25 years ago. Knowing the funds he raises could change children's lives has motivated him throughout the tough training.
Reflecting on his personal experiences and determination to make a difference, Jonathan said: “I've overcome some massive challenges in my life, but running the London Marathon will be by far the biggest I've ever undertaken!
“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.
“Some of the training runs have 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 excited and proud to be running the London marathon for them!”
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.”
For more information, and to donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jonathan-Tear