Team GB athlete, Ollie Hynd has got behind a campaign to help improve access to sport and leisure facilities for young disabled people.
Despite currently undertaking an intense training schedule after qualifying for the London Paralympic Games, swimmer Ollie (17) from Mansfield is lending his support to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers; a group of 400-strong young disabled campaigners from across the UK. Ollie is committed to raising awareness of the condition that both he and his older brother Sam Hynd (20) are affected by.
A previous study by the Trailblazers discovered that young people with disabilities are finding it difficult to access local sports and fitness facilities such as gyms, sports stadiums and leisure centres. Ollie, who is keen to encourage more young disabled people to take up support, said:
“I’m really proud to be an ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and for Trailblazers."
“There are a huge range of sports that young disabled people in the UK have the opportunity to get involved with, and the Paralympics is really helping to show people this. It is really important that disabled people are able to use gyms, sports grounds, pools and leisure centres locally, and that the staff there are welcoming. I’ve always had positive experiences, but I know that other people aren’t so lucky."
“I want to work with Trailblazers to encourage more young people into sport and to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to get involved.”
Project Manager of the campaign, Bobby Ancil said he was "delighted" that Ollie is putting his weight behind the Trailblazers:
"As someone with the drive and commitment to become a champion, he is an inspiration to young people with muscular dystrophy and related conditions. We are really grateful that he is lending his voice to the many campaigners who are helping to secure better opportunities in careers, education, health and leisure for young disabled people throughout the UK”
More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have muscular dystrophy or a related condition. A further 350,000 people are affected indirectly as family, friends or carers.