Jonathon’s story is told to us by his Personal Assistant, Mandy, who explains the different activities Jonathon takes part in, and his thirst to try new physical activities.
Jonathon was born on the 6th of August 1991, weighing a mere 5lb 11oz, and resulting in him being in special care for about three weeks. When Jonathon was around six months’ old he suffered a massive fit, which is where a bomb shell was dropped on the family and they were told Jonathon had cerebral palsy.
Jonathon’s family came together to raise money for him to go to the Peto Institute in Hungary, which teaches children who have cerebral palsy and cannot control their bodies very well to lead more independent lives. It was here that Jonathon had physio, enabling him to sit up and do other activities.
Jonathon went to a mainstream primary school and secondary where he had hydrotherapy. When schooling ended he went to college, but when that finished Jonathon became bored very quickly. It was then that I started to find sports activities for him to try.
In October 2014 I found a group that taught boccia. Even though Jonathon could not throw, he used a ramp to do what was needed. It was at boccia that someone suggested that Jonathon should try hand cycling, so in January 2015 we went to our local athletics track to see how he would get on. Although he needed a little assistance at first, he soon got into the swing of things and when it started to warm up he got quicker and quicker. At one point he did 10 laps of a 400m track!
Meanwhile, instead of doing just boccia on Monday nights, we started doing multi-sports. This included boccia, floor exercises, archery, rounders and many other activities. We were then invited to an inclusive ice skating session where Jonathon got to go on the ice. He really enjoyed it, especially when professionals took him round – they were a lot quicker than me!
We are now in 2016 and Jonathon is doing multi-sports on Mondays, hand cycling on Wednesdays and ice skating on Fridays. I did not think we could find anything else for Jonathon to do, but April saw the start of Sailability. This offered local disabled people the chance “to go sailing, to enjoy the fresh air and sense of freedom that this brings”. So, on a Tuesday we would take Jonathon to a local lake where he would go and enjoy sailing (the stronger the wind the better). In June of this year Sailability set up a Water Wheels Challenge. This meant Jonathon could sail a short course on a sailing boat on the lake, then go on to an adapted cycle, and cycle a small route before crossing the finish line. Jonathon has done this twice now and he loved it!
Whilst participating in the Water Wheels Challenge, they had other activities for people to try. This is where proper archery, as well as rebound therapy, were suggested to us.
Doing physical activity keeps Jonathon mobile, preventing him from becoming stiff and unable to do things. Jonathon now has a different activity to take part in each and every day: Monday is multi-sports; Tuesday is Sailability; Wednesday is hand cycling; Thursday is rebound therapy; and Friday is archery and ice skating.
As for me, I am definitely feeling active but I feel more tired than he does.
On the 27th of November Jonathon and I completed a sponsored swim to raise money for Inspire Peterborough. We raised about £80 and the swim went brilliantly. I swam 86 lengths and Jonathon managed an amazing 24 lengths!
Want to find out what is available in your area? Take a look at Information in Your Local Area pages on this website.
Want to know more about Personal Health Budgets and getting active? Take a look at our GYA resource Using Personal Budgets and Personal Health Budgets to Get Active.