Six-time Paralympic champion David Weir fears interest in disability sport “will die” if it is not marketed properly.
This is an area that is important to me. When I was 7 I had a friend in Henleaze Primary School called Gwen. She had Cerebral Palsey…..
Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Signs and symptoms vary between people. Often problems include: poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, trouble swallowing or speaking, and tremors among others. There may also be problems with sensation, vision, and hearing. Often babies with cerebral palsy do not roll over, sit, crawl, or walk as early as other children their age. Difficulty with the ability to think or reason and seizures each occurs in about one third of cases. While the symptoms may get more noticeable over the first few years of life, the underlying problems do not worsen over time.
I don’t have a disability… But I am proud of the way over the years we as a society has finally acknowledged that disabled people have rights… to be heard, to be seen and to take their place in society as equals. I am proud of the fact that one of my friend’s brother swims so well he earns a Silver medal. He is a better swimmer than me. It doesn’t make me feel weaker or insecure, he is better at something than me because he trains and works hard at it. He also has talent. I am sad to think that in less than 3 years the Paralympics has become a shadow of what it was at London 2012. We need to step up and ensure that these games get proper TV coverage and are celebrated for what they are. Top athletes at the prime of their lives doing something I would love to have been good enough to do.