Today I have a guest post from the lovely Claire who is trying to raise some sponsorship to help her son compete for Team GB in gymnastics in Lisbon in October.

It will cost over £1500 to compete (£850 flights and accommodation, then internal flights, a European licence to compete, £300 GB kit, £500 per leotard, plus music, choreography, training weekends etc). If you know of anybody or any companies that may be able to help then please email me dawn@kneesupmotherbrown.me and I will put you in contact with Claire. Alternatively there is a paypal donate button at the bottom of this post which will donate to Claire directly for her fund.

Here is Claire’s story:

When I had a boy I never expected to be discussing sparkly leotards with Swarovski crystals with my friend. Then again I never expected my boy to make Team GB. He had a rocky start in life.

We didn’t know he would be born with a cleft lip and palate. It was a shock to us both. When the doctor checking him over said she was checking his heart and brain as he had a mid-line defect I didn’t know what to expect, except that he was mine.

When he had surgery at 6 weeks he was in neo natal care. All I knew was he was mine, and he was a determined fighter. Many operations later we realised he continued to be both determined and a fighter.

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Life came easy to him (only fair considering his rough start) and nothing was a challenge. He loved Peter Pan, and the Pirate show at Legoland, so age 5 I took him to gymnastics as I wanted him to learn that some things are a struggle. And struggle he did for about 2 years.

A lack of nutrition caused by his cleft meant he was undersized, wearing age 2 clothes when he started school, so his arms were too short to do a bridge. But gradually he got it. And tried and tried with great determination. He became a “top”. In men’s Acro they work in either pairs or teams of four. The top has to fly, like Peter Pan.

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Many operations and many competitions later, moving from a tiny top to a middle he and his team won Gold at The British Championships in Stoke. I never thought when I had a boy I’d have one wearing Team GB kit. I’m so proud of him that his determination and fight has got him where he belongs.

I’m proud that the 20 hours training per week does not phase him, and he still does well at school. His 3 siblings are so proud too. And now his team are representing Great Britain competing in Lisbon in October this year.

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I never thought when I had a boy that he would have such determination and spirit to compete. I never thought when I had a boy that I’d need determination and spirit to find him funding. In 14 years he has come this far, please help him fly!





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