A MAN whose family live in Kingsclere and who went to school in Burghclere has won a silver medal at the Paralympics in Rio and where a sharp-shooting Baughurst Scout also competed.
Former Clere School pupil, Jonathan Broom-Edwards, a Paralympic high jumper and member of Team GB, competed in the recent Rio Paralympics, despite only taking up the sport three years ago.
Jonathan, aged 28, 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, prior to setting off for the Paralympics.
“One of the things I have learnt is to accept my impairment.
“I won’t be as able as other international high jumpers and may never get to the same level because I can’t strengthen up my lower left leg.
“However, that won’t stop me pushing myself to the absolute limits to challenge all those I face.”
His determined outlook on life saw him add the Paralympic T44 high jump silver to his World and European silver medals, as he finished runner-up to Poland’s world record-holder, Maciej Lepiato.
His proud mother, Kim Broom-Edwards, who together with his brother, Grant, aged 23, and Jonathan’s best friend Tom Breakspear, watched her son receive his medal on the winners’ podium, said it had proved an amazing experience for the family.
Jonathan had afterwards given her his medal to hold, and it proved surprisingly heavy.
“Jonathan has always made the best of every opportunity given to him and, because of this, he has excelled at university and in the sport he loves,” said Mrs Broom Edwards.
“And through it all he has remained a loyal, caring son – a true gentleman.
“The whole family are so very proud. He is an inspiration, not only to us, but to every person with a challenge to overcome. We love him very much.”
The family took time out together afterwards to visit the sights of Rio, such as Sugar Loaf Mountain.
They were joined by Jonathan, who had loved his Rio experience.
Following the 2012 London Olympics, Mr Broom-Edwards said he 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.
A sharp-shooting Baughurst Scout also competed at the Paralympic Games in Rio.
Tim Jeffrey, aged 20, from Baughurst Scout Group finished 10th, with a score of 633.1, after competing on Tuesday, September 13, in the SH2 prone R5.
Lead volunteer for Hampshire Scouts, Adam Jollans, said it had proved an amazing experience for Tim.
“We were all watching out for Tim and cheering him on,” said Mr Jollans.
Since Tim first started shooting as an SH2 shooter with the Baughurst Scout and Guide Group, Mr Jollans said someone else had been loading his rifle for him in competitions.
Since turning 18, Tim had chosen to load his rifle himself, with help from the Scouts, at district and county level, who together funded an adaptative rifle loading aid.
Mr Jollans said Tim was grateful for his early grounding in the sport, and that shooting alongside able-bodied shooters and felt that this had given him a more rounded understanding of the basics.
He added that Tim wanted to thank Graham Morrison for starting the shooting group for Baughurst Scouts and Guides and his mother for motivating him by telling him at the age of 11 with the words “Have a go, Tim”.
Volunteer at Baughurst group, Graham Brooks, said: “We are so proud that we supported Tim in his early development in his shooting skills.
“The support from Scouting has been invaluable.”
Tim now helps run the Scout shooting club, offering valuable help and advice to young shooters.