Athlete Mentor and Commonwealth Games Gymnast, Craig Heap, remembers Alex Williams, ahead of his Great North Run for the Meningitis Trust in memory of the Young Ambassador.
"I had the very special privilege of meeting Alex at a Young Ambassador Conference in Manchester three years ago. Alex came straight up to me in his wheelchair, stuck his hand out, and said 'Hi, I'm Alex.' That was Alex, a real character who was immediately likeable. I had no idea that this young lively man was on painkillers and morphine for Meningitis, which Alex contracted when he was younger and unfortunately resulted in him losing the use of his legs. He was full of life and I never once heard him complain.
Known as 'Mr Inspirational' across Tameside; Alex did so much despite the disabilities that he had. I've been back to Oldham a few times since the Manchester conference to help Young Ambassadors with their training and Alex always came along and got involved. Earlier this year, Alex contacted me to find out how he could get involved with speaking in schools. He was a big fan of the London 2012 Games and he wanted to promote it within schools, so I invited him along with me to talk to primary schools in Tameside. Alex really inspired the pupils, especially when he talked about his excitement of being chosen to carry the Olympic Torch!
Alex was also an ambassador for the Meningitis Trust and did a lot of work promoting the illness and its symptoms. In his memory, the charity has launched the 'Alex Williams Believe and Achieve Appeal' which aims to raise £1,000,000. For this reason I have nominated the Meningitis Trust as my chosen charity for the Great North Run 2012, which I'm running on Sunday 16th September. I thought it would be really appropriate this year to run on behalf of someone so special and I've decided to raise £2012 because of London 2012 and what it meant to Alex. I'll certainly be thinking of Alex as I'm running and reflecting on the great work that he did.
To find out more about the Meningitis Trust and to help me reach my target of £2012, please visit my fundraising page. Even if you can only spare £1, you will be helping a well-deserved cause, in memory of an amazing young man."