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Games inspire Ethan's triple charity challenge

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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ONE of the biggest aims of this summer's London Olympics was to "inspire a generation".

And now one 9-year-old from Swansea has completed his own Olympic test to raise money for some worthy causes – and remember his beloved Nana.

Little Ethan Smith from Oystermouth Road lost his Nan, Beryl Smith, 72, to a brain tumour two years ago.

But inspired by the exploits of Team GB's triathlon heroes Jonny and Alistair Brownlee, Ethan set about doing his own version of the endurance event.

Mum Heather said: "When his Nan died two years ago, he went through a lot of grief, he saw her change with her illness. As part of that he wanted to do something positive and help others who had cancer as well.

"He is a keen footballer and wanted to set himself some sort of sport challenge.

"He was so impressed by the Olympics and the triathlon caught his attention."

After consulting a couple of her friends who are physiotherapists about what distances would be suitable for a determined youngster, Heather and Ethan shrunk down the endurance challenge to a junior level.

"He did a 150 meter swim at the Marriott Hotel, followed by a two kilometre cycle along the seafront, then a one kilometre run back along the front," said Heather, a cardiac nurse.

"He was very determined to do it, despite the weather being horrendous.

"It was quite emotional when he finished, he was elated and did it all in around 12 minutes, we are all really proud of him."

Through sponsorship from family and through his friends at Christchurch Primary School, Ethan managed to raise a remarkable £500, with the money split between the Kids Cancer Charity — formerly the Christian Lewis Trust — and Cancer Research UK.

"He wanted some of the money to go to Cancer Research as he wanted to help pay the scientists who help fight cancer," added Heather.

"Beryl used to live in Kittle and worked at Swansea College as a secretary.

"She was very active and very musical.

"She was very close to Ethan and his sister Lauren.

"Lauren was there cheering him on along the seafront as well as a couple of his aunties.

"He is keen on all sorts of sport and I am sure he will be staying active in the future.

"We are all very proud of him."

The Brownlee brothers were two of the biggest stars of the London Olympics.

Alistair swept to gold — Britain's first Olympic triathlon title — while Jonny grabbed the bronze.

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