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Disabled multi-eventist, Michael PopeMichael Pope

Michael Pope, from Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, is in the top-five in multi-eventing in the UK, and a member of the British team. Michael has a form of dwarfism however he does not let this stop him from competing in a range of sports including shot putt, discus, javelin, basketball, football, hockey, cricket and badminton. The teenager is a pupil at Bushey Meads School where he trains with other disabled children in a special unit.

GrantsReports

September 2010

The JWCT has awarded a further 750 to Michael, now 15 years-old. Michael explained how the funding, awarded via the organisation Sports Aid, was being used: “I've been really busy with all my school work and sport during these few months. I went to the UK School Games and I came back with a gold in shot and a silver in discus with a new personal best so [am] very happy with that, and this weekend I'm in Nottingham for the CP Nationals Competition which is my last competition of the season. Then I've got a hard winter ahead of me so looking forward to that. My plans for the future are to maintain my national and international rankings [and] also to achieve new personal bests in discus and shot [put] and to go to the IWAS World Junior Champtionships next year too. I was also selected for the Paralympic Potentials training camp in Bath . . . in August. The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust will help me by getting me around the country for training and competitions and also to buy new throwing equipment . . .”

Michael has been nominated for the School Sports Partnership Young Volunteer Award at this year’s Annual Hertfordshire Service to Sports Awards and also been nominated by his school and the School Sport Partnership as a Young Ambassador for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

May 2009                                                            

Michael has been awarded a further 750 grant from the JWCT via Sports Aid. Michael has a form of dwarfism, but despite this performs at a high level in a range of disciplines including both field and racquet sports.

The 14 year-old also encourages other disabled children to take part in sport by demonstrating that you can succeed even with a disability. He said “I like to think I am a role model for other children with disabilities. I show them that we can succeed and to give them confidence. I always try to give encouragement and say you have to believe in yourself.” On 15 May 2009 he was runner-up in the Hertfordshire Young People of the Year Award for being a positive role model to other young disabled people.

Michael wrote to the JWCT stating “I am very happy that you will continue to sponsor me . . . It will be a great help as I know it costs a lot for me to attend so many competitions all over the place. I have just returned from Largs in Scotland where I participated in the Four Nations Disabled Badminton Competition last weekend representing England on the Dwarf Athletics Association Badminton Team. I am pleased to tell you that I won two trophies - I was runner-up in the Mixed Doubles and winner of the Men’s’ Doubles.

Michael has won a host of medals by taking part in the National Dwarf Games in Birmingham, the European Dwarf Games in Belfast and the World Dwarf Games in Paris. His ambition is to qualify for the Paralympics in London in 2012 and to represent Great Britain at shot putt and possibly discus and javelin.

May 2008

In May 2008, 13 year-old Michael, received a 750 grant via Sports Aid, a partner organisation of the JWCT.

Michael started playing sport when he was just six after he joined the Dwarf Athletic Association and was encouraged to discover his hidden talent, taking part in the World Dwarf Games in Paris for the first time in 2005. In the U13 European Dwarf Games in Belfast in 2006 he achieved two Silver medals at in the shot put and the discus events. In addition he was the winner of four Gold medals at the National Junior Games 2007 in discus, table tennis, shot put and javelin.

He also plays boccia, a sport designed for athletes with disabilities. Similar to bocce, it is designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy and other locomotor disabilities affecting motor skills. It is a Paralympic sport, played in over forty countries worldwide.

Michael’s mother Maria said “Sport has given Michael a real purpose and a sense of self-belief, a sense of achievement despite his disability. It is very character-building but he thoroughly enjoys participating and has met so many people and made great friendships. He has made great progress this year and has the determination and enthusiasm to succeed.”


The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust
a charity registered in England and Wales. No. 1114871