Breaking down disability barriers
Sporting success for athlete Jonny
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