Touche to Tokyo - Josh Waddell Funding page
My name is Joshua Waddell and I am 15 years old. At the age of 2 years old it was found that I had cerebral palsy. This condition means that I am unable to walk unaided. After much treatment and many major operations my parents were told that I would always need to use arm crutches, a walking frame and a wheelchair.
Luckily whilst attending a Sports day for disabled children I met Prof. Laszlo Jakab. He is a world class coach and runs the Regional Fencing Centre at Durham University, coaching many champions over the years and is also a former UK coach for wheelchair fencing. He told my parents that he would like me to attend the club. I started taking lessons in Epee, Foil and Sabre disciplines and have been making steady progress.
I was chosen to represent England in Wheelchair Fencing at the School Games in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and after previously winning silver and bronze medals I won 3 Gold medals at last year’s games.
In July 2017 I attended the Under 17 World Championships in Warsaw, Poland and much to the surprise of the other competitors from many countries I won a Bronze medal in Epee. I was only 14 years old and unknown on the world circuit.
As well as training a minimum of 3 times a week at Durham Fencing Club, I regularly travel to national and international coaching camps throughout the year which gives me opportunities to mix with top-level fencers of all ages and continue to develop my skills. Additionally, I have recently been invited to regularly train on the World Class Programme with the GBR Wheelchair Fencing Team in Bath. I am working towards becoming a confirmed member of this team that will hopefully represent GBR at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
In February 2018 I was selected for the GB Senior Team and competed in the World Cup in Eger, Hungary, where I came 23rd out of 45 competitors in the Epee competition. I was also informed that I was the World Number One in Under 17 Mens Epee for 2017.
Recently I have attended 3 award ceremonies. At the Best of Wearside Awards I won the Sporting Achievement award. At the North East Disability Sports Awards I won Young Male Achiever and at Sunderland Young Achievers awards I won the 14-20 years Sports Award.
I am planning on competing in a number of competitions this year - the Under 17 and Under 23 World Cup events in Netherlands and Warsaw, Poland and the Senior World Cup in Warsaw and Georgia. I also plan to attend the Great Britain training camps in Stoke Mandeville, Moulton College, Northampton and Bath.
Another key aim is to show other disabled young people that they don’t need to sit in a wheelchair and watch the world pass them by but be out there, achieving their dreams.
As you can imagine it is proving to be very expensive with lessons, equipment and travelling and currently only my parents are funding my fencing and helping me achieve my aim. For example when I went to Warsaw the overall cost of the competition, accommodation and travel expenses came to £2500.
This my link to the Just Giving Page I have set up for all who wish donate