Duke’s golden heritage influences Tokyo’s silver and bronze

The medal-winning Paralympic player Will Steadman won the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Medal for winning two medals in Tokyo.

He won the silver medal in the long jump and the bronze medal in the 400 meters.

The Duke of Edinburgh died earlier this year, leaving a lively and life-changing legacy for thousands of young people around the world.

The Gold Award is the final level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards. It aims to extend a person’s life experience and enable them to make responsible citizen choices in opportunities available outside of work.

So how did you participate in this award and help you realize your Paralympic dreams?

He applied because some of his friends did so.

“I wanted to be with my friends. I was already doing a lot of what I needed to do to get involved, and it felt like a special awareness of my work and support for achieving my goals.”

Skill growth and community service

The fun of developing his skills and serving the community encouraged him to sign up for the final gold medal.

This includes community services, recreation, “adventurous journeys” and housing projects. The outdoor element was especially appealing to Will.

“Gold’s adventurous journey was especially important. My passion and motivation to continue to spend more time outdoors has increased.”

The outdoor element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award was particularly appealing to Will

Will says the award helped build his confidence.

Another part of the award was the housing sector. He was able to count his training and competition experience at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

The Paralympics provided an “amazing sense of belonging.”

“My experience at my Gold Residential was intense and inspiring. We were absent for a total of 6 weeks, training in Australia and the United States before the Rio Paralympics, then 3 weeks in Rio’s Olympic Village. Did.

“It was great, the athlete’s mini-city. There was a lot of training, but like football, I also had the opportunity to meet athletes and experience the village. [field] Size food hall. It was a unique experience. The majority of people with disabilities in the Paralympics were a surprising sense of belonging and community. “

At Rio Will, he won the bronze medal in the 400m and 800m T36 events.

Parental support to overcome obstacles

Will was born in 1998 in New Zealand with cerebral palsy.

He reduced the strength and control of the muscles on the left side of the body.

“When I was a baby, my parents noticed that I was physically handicapped. For example, I could only roll in one direction. They worked very hard, my abilities and maneuvers. I got help improving my sexuality, and I was able to get much more movement and coordination.

“After returning from Australia at the age of 5, I became obsessed with sports. Obviously, sports are my big passion. I love football and cricket and cross before participating in athletics. We have advanced to the country. “

London influenced the goals of my game

When his mother performed a three-month sabbatical, they traveled to London, where the 2012 Paralympics were taking place.

I was very inspired. I’ve never seen someone with a disability like me achieve this.

“I was finally able to connect my disability to my potential and my goals. Immediately after this transition to athletics, I signed up for the award at the bronze level.”

He started training seriously in 2015, and a year later he competed in the Rio Paralympics, competing in the 400m, 800m and long jump all in the T36 category. He won the bronze medal in two races and finished sixth in the long jump.

Balancing the benefits of training with the risk of injury is always a challenge. One week before the Tokyo Paralympics, I had a stress fracture in my back.

“It was a big mental adjustment, and with a physical recovery plan in place, my training needed a big change.”

Five years of hard work led to Tokyo, but there was no medal guarantee. Although he wasn’t particularly injured, Will won silver and bronze. Things went wrong with the long jump and he was sixth. He gave the last jump everything he had and finished second at 5.64m.

Following Steadman’s Double Bronze Paralympic medal in Rio, Silver and Bronze in Tokyo

“It was incredible, especially in the long jump, as I felt there weren’t any big jumps. I was very shocked to know that it was good, and I won. [silver].. “

Life in a village in Tokyo was similar to Rio, but because of Covid.

“There were many protocols for wearing masks everywhere, keeping a social distance, disinfecting, etc.

“We had to stay in the” bubble “of sports. In other words, I couldn’t hang out with people in the same sport as us. This was quite different from Rio, where there was a lot of interaction between the sports of the New Zealand team. In the dining room, all seats were divided by Perspecs and gloves were worn.

Thank you game advanced

“That said, there was still the fact that the Paralympic village had cafeterias, different countries, and thousands of disabled athletes for the same purpose. That’s pretty cool. Tokyo 2020 It was a great experience and I’m really grateful that the game really went on. “

To others who are thinking of working on the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, Will says it “sounds cliché, but just go for it.”

“All the different elements of the award contribute to who you are and what you can achieve for your future life. It is the difficult process of growing yourself, what in life. I really appreciate your potential. “

Will, who attended the Middleton Grange School in Christchurch, is currently studying electrical engineering at the University of Canterbury.

Recently released by MIQ, he is now able to focus on planning his January 2022 wedding with his fiancé Annika.

Karen Ross, National Director of the Aotearoa New Zealand Duke of Edinburgh International Awards, says the award was introduced in the country in 1963.

Second and third generations work on awards

Currently, 2nd and 3rd generation kiwis are participating in this program, “demonstrating that there is something that is clearly very compelling.”

Karen says it combines Duke’s timeless vision for young people, a self-sufficient New Zealand way, and the adventurous spirit of our famous adventure hero, Sir Edmund Hillary.

“This award and the Kai Mahi behind it incorporate Kiwi values, Maori, and a journey into the environment into our core program.

“The Duke of Edinburgh has played an important role in helping young people survive and prosper despite the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic. We will continue to develop his legacy. It’s a year full of difficult situations, losses, difficult times, and isolation, and there is certainly hope, “says Karen.

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Duke of Edinburgh Award

Duke’s golden heritage influences Tokyo’s silver and bronze

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