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FORMER Clere School pupil is on the ‘road to Rio’ – going for gold in the Paralympics

Former pupil, Jonathan Broom-Edwards, a Paralympic high jumper and member of Team GB, has enjoyed a successful year and is on course to compete in this summer’s Paralympic Games in Rio, after only taking up the sport three years ago.

Jonathan, aged 27,  whose family lives in Kingsclere, was born with a condition called Talipes Equinovarus, which mostly affects his left foot. He also has issues with his right foot and a muscular imbalance throughout his body, causing his right knee to be fairly unstable.

“I never thought of myself as disabled. I knew I had an impairment, but I have never let that affect me,” he said. “One of the things I have learnt is to accept my impairment. It won’t stop me pushing myself to the absolute limits to challenge all those I face.”

Following the 2012 London Olympics, Jonathan realised his impairment made him eligible for Paralympic competitions. He had been playing able-bodied basketball at Loughborough University, where he studied aeronautical engineering, when he and a friend decided to try the high jump, in order to help with his basketball leaps.

In his first major international competition, the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon in July 2013, Jonathan set a new personal best of 2.08m and won a silver medal.

He then went on to clinch another silver medal in the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea in 2014 and has recently returned from the Athletics World Championships in Doha, where he scooped a further silver medal to add to his growing collection.

His proud mother, Kim Broom-Edwards, said her son had recently become an ambassador for England Athletics and was hoping he can finally strike a Gold at the Rio Paralympics, which will be held from September 7 to 18.