Break­ing down dis­abil­ity bar­ri­ers

Sport­ing suc­cess for ath­lete Jonny

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - DISTRICT NEWS - Stu­art McFar­lane

A Dum­fries stu­dent bat­tled his way to a top fin­ish at a unique triathlon chal­lenge that at­tempts to bin all of the tra­di­tional bar­ri­ers to sport.

Twenty-year-old Jonny Brown, who has autism, was one of more than 2,500 dis­abled vol­un­teers and care home res­i­dents that took part in the swim, cy­cle and run last month on be­half of dis­abil­ity char­ity Leonard Cheshire.

Keen ath­lete Jonny, who is a sport and fit­ness stu­dent at Dum­fries and Gal­loway Col­lege, fin­ished sec­ond in the quick­est wave of en­trants at the Su­per­hero Tri event in Wind­sor and was greeted at the fin­ish­ing line by big names in­clud­ing Par­a­lympian Jon­nie Pea­cock and pre­sen­ter Clare Bald­ing.

Af­ter cross­ing the fin­ish line, Jonny said: “I’ve been train­ing ev­ery Satur­day in the run up to the event, which wasn’t easy in the heat. It was great to get to do an event like this.

“It was great to com­pete in front of all the peo­ple. I re­cov­ered okay be­cause I’ve got youth on my side.”

Jonny has been a part of Leonard Cheshire’s youth vol­un­teer­ing pro­gramme ‘Can Do’ since May which has helped him learn a va­ri­ety of skills, in­clud­ing a pas­sion for film re­view­ing.

The triathlon al­lows for all par­tic­i­pants to call the shots on what equip­ment they need and has no cut-off times, al­low­ing for those tak­ing part to test their sport­ing prow­ess with­out the usual bar­ri­ers to sport­ing ac­tiv­ity.

Jonny was joined for the gru­elling event by sis­ter Bethany and dad Alan, who hailed the im­pact of the triathlon.

Alan, who runs the vil­lage shop in Cross­michael with wife Ni­cola, said: “It was so good see­ing Jonny race.

“He put in 100 times more ef­fort than I’ve ever seen him put in be­fore; he left me far be­hind, he was like a bat out of hell.

“I think it was a re­ally in­spir­ing event, es­pe­cially with the celebri­ties there giv­ing all the time in the world to the dis­abled par­tic­i­pants when meet­ing them af­ter­wards.

“There is so much en­joy­ment when peo­ple re­alise they can do it, they can cross the fin­ish line.

“The sky is limit, I hope next year even more peo­ple take part.”

Celebri­tiesJonny and dad Alan with their medal along­side Par­a­lympian Jon­nie Pea­cock (above) and below, Alan, Jonny and Bethany and a a fel­low triath­lete are pic­tured with TV pre­sen­ter Clare Bald­ing

Gru­elling event An ex­hausted Jonny crosses the fin­ish line at the Wind­sor event

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