North Bay lift­ing champ sets lofty goals

Jake Beaton aims to at­tend world cham­pi­onship in De­cem­ber and Sum­mer Par­a­lympics in 2020

North Bay Nugget - - FRONT PAGE - Jen­nifer Hamil­ton-mc­cha­rles

Jake Beaton has his eyes set on the 2020 Sum­mer Par­a­lympics in Tokyo.

The road to get there will be tough, but the North Bay ath­lete is up for the chal­lenge.

With a few medals un­der his belt, in­clud­ing a na­tional cham­pi­onship, Beaton is rais­ing money to com­pete at the World Para Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships in Bo­gota, Colom­bia in De­cem­ber.

Beaton would rep­re­sent Canada as na­tional cham­pion and twotime record holder with a lift of 220 pounds.

But the trip is ex­pen­sive. Beaton’s fam­ily has set up a fundrais­ing ac­count at makeachamp. com to al­low friends, rel­a­tives, sup­port­ers and ath­letes help Beaton take the flight.

“I’ve never been one for hand­outs,” he says. “I re­ally want to work for what I get.”

But the $10,000 price tag is a lot for a young man on ODSP. He is hop­ing to bring his mother as his sup­port per­son, plus Beaton says “she’s my big­gest fan.”

Beaton has per­se­vered through a lot in his 30 years.

He was born with spina bi­fida and min­utes later was flown to Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal of East­ern On­tario in Ot­tawa for surgery. Beaton, who is con­fined to a wheel­chair, un­der­went 40 surg­eries be­fore age 10.

He can use his up­per body, but Beaton doesn’t have any feel­ing from his mid-thigh to his toes.

“I al­ways wanted to be in the Cana­dian Army and rep­re­sent my coun­try,” Beaton says. “I never con­sid­ered my­self dis­abled.”

Beaton laughs about the time when he would use his wheel­chair to his ad­van­tage as a kid.

“I fig­ured out quite early I could reach things my younger brother couldn’t,” he re­calls. “My par­ents didn’t treat me any dif­fer­ently. What­ever my brother did, I fol­lowed.”

While some of Beaton’s hopes have not ma­te­ri­al­ized, he has found new ones.

Beaton is at­tend­ing Canadore Col­lege, pur­su­ing a ca­reer in the trades while work­ing to­ward his para pow­er­lift­ing goal.

“Four years ago, I was in­tro­duced to para pow­er­lift­ing. I train with Larry Shep­pard and Jor­dan Franks, and then I train on my own in the gym at the Canadore Col­lege Com­merce Court Cam­pus four to eight hours per week,” Beaton says.

“I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in fit­ness and strength train­ing, and im­me­di­ately fell in love with the sport.”

Para pow­er­lift­ing isn’t the only sport Beaton is pas­sion­ate about.

He’s played sledge hockey since he was nine, with the sport tak­ing him across the prov­ince, as well as to Que­bec, Bos­ton and New York.

“Para pow­er­lift­ing is to­tally dif­fer­ent than play­ing hockey. I find pow­er­lift­ing a lot more re­ward­ing, but the pres­sure is com­pletely on you. If you win, you get all of the glory. But if you lose, it’s on you.”

To make a dona­tion visit jake­beat­on­para­pow­er­lifter

Sub­mit­ted Photo

Jake Beaton of North Bay in con­grat­u­lated by Geno Biancheri, mas­ter of cer­e­monies at the Cana­dian Para Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships in Cal­gary. Beaton hopes to raise enough money to at­tend the World Para Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships in Bo­gota, Columbia in De­cem­ber, rep­re­sent­ing Canada as a na­tional cham­pion and two-time record holder, most re­cently with a lift of 220 pounds.

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