Matt, who was joined in activities by Treloar’s member of staff and Paralympic hopeful, Martin Sinclair, delivered an inspiring talk to School students.
He told the audience how he ended up competing in the Paralympics:
“Four years ago I sustained an injury while I was playing football. The bang I received on my head didn’t seem too bad at the time, but as a result I developed Parkinson’s disease.”
Matt encouraged the disabled students to take four key messages away with them – to be proud, to have a dream, to believe it and to achieve it – and told of the importance of setting goals and targets.
While sharing his story, he said that when he began training with the aim of becoming a Paralympic footballer, he didn’t realise the team for the 2008 Beijing Games had already been selected, but through his hard work and determination managed to join them at the Games, at which he scored three times and broke a Paralympic record for the quickest goal scored.
His motivating talk resonated with the students, who listened eagerly as he told them his next aim was to come back from the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a gold medal around his neck.
After the talk, staff and students took part in a series of hands-on drills, led by Matt, which were thoroughly enjoyed and got the competitive juices flowing!
More information about Treloar’s School is available at http://www.treloar.org.uk/
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Treloar School and College are operated by Treloar Trust which provides education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training to young people with physical disabilities from all over the UK and overseas.