Paralympic Judoka Ian Rose inspires

Double Paralympic medallist Judoka Ian Rose inspired students at County again this week with a motivational KS3 Assembly on Monday, and a workshop for several KS3 students.

Ian was born with childhood eye cancer (retinoblastoma) and lost his left eye and most of the sight in his right. After many operations Ian was left with a facial disfigurement and had to wear thick glasses. Despite this, and although not immediately talented at Judo, Ian worked very hard in training and had a real passion to succeed. After two years he won his first medal.  His determination and perseverance paid off and he received his first international selection in 1989 whilst still in his last year at secondary school.

He competed at the European Visually Impaired Championships, and for Ian this was a dream come true and the beginning of his international sporting career. He went on to win two Paralympic medals, 5 World Championships medals and four European Championships.

Ian was hoping to represent Paralympics GB at his 6th Games in London but an injury forced him into early retirement in 2011 after a 22 year international career.  As one of Great Britain’s most successful Paralympic Judoka, Ian was a torchbearer and opening ceremony performer for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

On his role as an Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, Ian commented, “I am honoured to have this opportunity. It is important to set life goals for yourself and to have something to strive for. I am looking forward to helping the students I meet and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.

Ian Rose's inspirational speech to 'be more penguin' is available here.