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Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards visits York St John

Jonathan Edwards CBE, Deputy Chair of the Nations and Regions Group of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, took part in an inspirational day on Wednesday 22 September to promote and support sport and business in the region.

Inspired by London 2012, the event was designed to challenge attitudes to disability and explore how having a disability can be overcome in business, sport and culture.

Jonathan, who was Olympic Triple Jump champion at the Sydney 2000 Games and has held the world record for the event since 1995, was joined at today’s event by the Chairman of Paralympic GB, Tim Reddish OBE.

The theme of disability in business was highlighted in a conference at York St John Business School, with presentations from Deloitte, Job Centre Plus and Alan Rayment, Coach and Ambassador for Triathlon England Disabled Athletes. Jonathan and Tim took part in a Q & A session with delegates, and then met York St John staff and students to take part in taster sessions of disability sports, including boccia, wheelchair basketball and goalball run by the University.

Guests at the event also had the opportunity to view a number of projects designed to challenge the perception of disability through the arts. Performances were held by Out of Character, a theatre company developed out of courses held for mental health service users, in an innovative collaboration between York St John University and North Yorkshire and York Community and the Mental Health Service providers. A short singing and signing workshop was also given by Hands & Voices Choir, the first ever singing and signing choir.

The visit was organised by Yorkshire Gold, the region’s delivery partner for London 2012, to make the most of the benefits of the London 2012 Games.

For further information please contact Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk