Accepting who you are and making the most of it.

  • Sunday, April 21, 2013
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(Photo by David Baird -

It could be that working with young people with disabilities and especially working with them in a sporting context draws me toward certain athletes and weights my perspectives in a different way.
Watching the Virgin London Marathon today it was Richard Whitehead who caught my eye and my interest.
Richard was born without lower legs, 35 years ago in Nottinghamshire, England.
To date Richard has run 25+ marathons. He plans to run the length of Great Britain, a 900 mile odyssey to raise money for charity. He is also the current Paralympic 200m champion.
It is what Richard thinks and believes though that has a rich resonance with me and my passion for my work.
He was fortunate to have parents who didn't see him as different, they always believed he could do what everyone else did. They refused to limit him. They viewed sport as a route into mainstream society for their son.They shaped their sons personal ethic.
Richard says, "What my life has been about is accepting who you are and making the most of it. Once you've done that, you can push the barriers as far as you can."
"Sport can be a powerful tool to promote inclusion. My parents always thought sport could be a way to bridge and break down barriers in society. Sport in the 21st century needs to move towards choice, opportunities and opening up doors for diverse groups of people to take part."
This is what I believe, it is my passion and what I strive for, a society where everyone can take part, have a role and have value. A society where everyone can achieve and limits are blown away. Sport can play such a massive role in bringing this about.

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