Para Powerlifting European and World Championships
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Hello! I am a 33-year-old man from county Clare, Ireland, and I have recently qualified to represent my country at the GPC powerlifting federation’s European championships in Poland this June, and the World championships, to be held in the Czech Republic in September. I shall be competing in the 60kg paralympic category.
I was born with bilateral (affecting both legs) clubfoot, which has left me with reduced range of motion, strength, flexibility and balance in my lower legs. I am lucky in that the nature of my impairment allows me to enjoy a broadly normal quality of life, but obviously, it has had an impact on me none the less. One area of my life which has been quite notably affected has been my engagement in sport. Field sports, athletics, boxing and golf are all sports that I have attempted to turn my hand to, with varying degrees of success and suitability encountered with each, but never anything significant. My legs have always been a limiting factor affecting my performance.
Within the last year, however, I have begun participating in powerlifting. 2 of the 3 powerlifting lifts, the squat and the deadlift, are beyond my ability owing to my mobility deficiencies, however, I have been competing in the bench press. At the recent GPC Irish National Championships, I placed first in the 60kg paralympic category, earning me my spot at the European and World Championships. In fact, my performance on the day allowed me to set a new GPC world record for this same 60kg paralympic category.
Sport is hugely important to me, and I have a great desire to help demonstrate, in my own little way, that a disability or other such physical limitation is not a barrier to an active and fulfilling involvement in it. I think this message is vitally important. I know that for a long time I focused more on what I could not do due to my condition, rather than what I could do. It would be an honour for me to travel to Poland and the Czech Republic for these events. It would be beyond my greatest expectations to have this opportunity to represent Ireland, and the club foot community, on an international stage.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to cover all the expenses for these two potential events. This is why I am seeking to fundraise the money to cover my flights, accommodation, transfers and tournament entry fees. From my preliminary costings, these accumulated costs shall likely be in the region of 1000 euro. I would greatly appreciate any help or support towards this adventure. I would be forever grateful for any contribution you could make. I have also made a pledge that any additional money raised, over and above the costs involved with the tournaments, shall be donated in full to Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. It was here that I received treatment for my condition as a child, and without their expertise, passion and care, I would not enjoy the full quality of life which I presently do.
I want to thank you in advance for any assistance or support which you may be able to offer. I plan on doing my very best to represent the country well out in Poland and the Czech Republic. Eire Abú!