News

Update from Junior Ambassador Thomas Talbot

Thomas with his new StormRunner

We were delighted to hear that our inspirational Junior Ambassador, Thomas Talbot, has had a fantastic season with his new StormRunner, and really done himself proud. As you will see, he is gaining personal bests and great results across different distances showing himself to be a very versatile athlete. With his talent and huge determination, Thomas is really becoming a RaceRunning force to be reckoned with and we’ve no doubt he has a very exciting future. Go Thomas!

A summary of his season so far:

  • September 2018 – National CP Sport Athletics RR2 U16 Male Champion – 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m
  • November 2018 – Selected to British Athletics RaceRunning Paralympic Development Academy.
  • April 2019 – broke the Under 16 RR2 Male 100m World Record. 
  • He then bettered that time at Stoke Mandeville in May but it didn’t count as no electronic timing.
  • May 2019 – Silver medallist in combined RR2/RR3 100m and 200m at the East Midlands Disability Athletics Championships
  • June 2019 – established a new Under 16 RR2 1500m World Record in York – the first athlete in the world at this age in that class to do so.
  • June 2019 –  Bronze medallist at the 100m and 400m combined RR2/RR3 Northern Championships.
  • July 2019 – National Junior Athletics Champion – RR2 Male – 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m and winner of the Lions International Endeavour Trophy at the championships.
  • July 2019 – Bronze Medallist at the England Athletics National Disability Championships for RR2/RR3 combined 100m. Silver medallist at the same event for the RR2/RR3 combined 200m.
  • August 2019 – Newham Parallel Success Meet – pb in the 400m 
  • September 7th / 8th – British Wheelchair Athletics Association Grand Prix – Stoke Mandeville – broke the 100m Males U16 100m World Record and ran a pb in his 400m twice over the weekend.
  • This season he has also run a pb in his 200m twice and he is just a second off the 200m world record at the moment.

Thomas will also have competed at the CP National Athletics championships at the end of September by now and we’ll let you know how he got on.

There’s no rest for such a dedicated athlete though as he will now be into his winter season training again…

Thomas in action with his StormRunner
Thomas in action with his StormRunner
Thomas in the run in to the line on his way to breaking the World Record
Thomas in the run in to the line on his way to breaking the World Record

Huge congratulations to Thomas on such a fantastic season. We are so proud to have him as our first Junior Ambassador and will really look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring…

Thomas Talbot Agrees to be the DBF’s First Junior Ambassador!

We are delighted to report that Thomas Talbot, RaceRunner, who you will have met through various DBF posts has accepted our invitation to become the DBF’s first ever Junior Ambassador. 

The DBF has a small team of Ambassadors who are selected because they have shown considerable support of the charity and because they represent both the ethos of the DBF and the ‘can do’ spirit of Sir Douglas, whose determination to pursue a full and active life despite the amputation of both legs resulted in sackfuls of letters from the public on his death and sparked the inception of the charity.  There is no doubt that Thomas has displayed this determination in spades and we feel that he is a very worthy source of inspiration to young (and not so young!) people in his own right.

We can’t think of anyone more suited to breaking this new ground for the DBF and we are enormously proud to have his support and presence on the team.


You can find out more about Thomas and his achievements through various posts on the site, which you can access through the links below.

Despite being born with Cerebral Palsy, he has shown dogged determination to succeed as a RaceRunner with the ambition to go right to the top. He has also displayed incredible maturity in coping with a series of operations and coming through them all with that determination and ambition intact. His attitude has paid off and he has had a hugely successful year not only resulting in the achievements chronicled through his Sporting Journey, which has been published on the Website (link below), but also recently winning North Kesteven District Council’s Community Champions Young Achiever of the Year. He then went on to be nominated as Sports Achiever of the Year Award with Cerebral Palsy Sport – a wonderful surprise for his mother also as she didn’t know and had to announce it! His year of achievements culminated a couple of weeks ago in him winning the Active Lincolnshire County Disabled Sportsperson of the Year Award. A fantastic year for this incredibly committed and determined young athlete and thoroughly well deserved.

After discussing our invitation to become the first Junior DBF Ambassador with his family, Thomas said he would be delighted to accept and, in his words:

I’m really humbled to be asked and proud to give something back to a Foundation who has supported me so much. Thank You. Thomas Talbot – 1st Junior DBF Ambassador

 


Links: (will open in new tabs)

Thomas – My Sporting Journey Part 11

I’m so pleased to publish the 11th and – sadly – final episode of Thomas Talbot’s Sporting Journey. This has been the most wonderful series of posts to be able to put up on the Website and we are extremely grateful to Thomas for finding time in what has been and extraordinarily busy and successful year to share his journey with us.

In his own words:

Well what a year it has been… Thomas Talbot

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A Fine way to end the season!

The day dawned really sunny and warm which is always helpful to a cerebral palsy athlete. This year was also slightly different as I had an international competitor competing against me in the RR2 classification races.

My first race was the 100m and in a hard fought race I took gold, ran a pb and ran under 24 seconds for the first time in my racing career.

Picture shows me on the run in of the 100m final
Picture shows me on the run in of the 100m final

I then had the 800m race which is the race I always look forward to. In the first lap it was really close with the RaceRunner from the Netherlands but I won fairly comfortably after the last lap!

 Pictures above show the run in on the last lap of the 800m.
 Pictures above show the run in on the last lap of the 800m.

After lunch it was the 200m race and again I won gold and was pleased with my time. My final event of the Nationals was the 400m and in a great race I was so pleased to come away with gold. It was a great way to finish my 2018 season which was made even more special when it was announced that I had also won the 2018 Junior Tack athlete of the year award. This award is based on the performances through the season that earns points for how much you improve on your pbs.

With my Track of the Year Award  
With my Track of the Year Award  
Four National Golds!
Four National Golds!

Following the Nationals, I have had some surgery to take the plate out of my leg and surgery also on my left knee and I’m recovering now from that before training starts in earnest again for next season. I’ve got lots of physio and rehabilitation to do but can’t wait to get back on the track.

Another hospital stay!
Another hospital stay!

As the season ended for me it was lovely to look back on how far I have come with my times, learning to race in tough races and dealing with my new classification. I have lots to learn and am looking forward to the winter season.

I’m also really honoured to have received some awards since the season finished. I was awarded the Cerebral Palsy Sport Sports Achiever of the Year Award and also my District’s Community Champions Young Achiever of the Year Award. I am also nominated for the Lincolnshire Sports Disabled Sport Person of the Year Awards and the ceremony is being held in early November.

 

 

The Cerebral Palsy Sport Sports Achiever of the Year Award
The Cerebral Palsy Sport Sports Achiever of the Year Award
District’s Community Champions Young Achiever of the Year Award
District’s Community Champions Young Achiever of the Year Award

Well what a year it has been and I truly could not have achieved everything that I have without all the support I have been given. Thank you to my coach Lee who has been incredible with the support he has given.

Thank you to the Douglas Bader Foundation and all the supporters who have helped me this year.

A massive thank you for all the wonderful messages of support during this season and most of all thank you to my friends and family and especially Mum, Dad and Mattie for being there every step of the way. It means so much!

Thank you and this is Thomas signing off now

Thank You!

Thomas

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Useful links: (all links will open in new tabs)

  • Click on the link to open a pdf version of Thomas’s Sporting Journey Part 11. This can be downloaded and printed.
  • Click HERE to visit the Bader Grants News Page where you will find previous instalments of Thomas’s Sporting Journey.
  • If, having read Thomas’s posts, you’re inspired to apply for a Bader Grant to help you to pursue your own journey, please click on the links to find out more about Bader Grants and how you can go about applying for a Bader Grant.

We are incredibly proud of Thomas who has had a brilliantly successful season during which the hard work and dedication of past years have really paid off. Not only is he a very talented young athlete but he displays a commitment and determination to succeed at the highest level in his chosen sport of RaceRunning that can serve as an inspiration to all. We are delighted to have been able to support him on his Sporting Journey and thank him in turn for his support of the DBF. His Sporting Journey has provided a fascinating insight into the pursuit of a dream.

We have no doubt that you will be hearing more from and about Thomas – his Sporting Journey will undoubtedly continue and take him right to the top!

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I will shortly be putting all Thomas’s posts together so that they can be downloaded as one so watch this space…!

 

Thomas – My Sporting Journey Part 9

Here is the 9th and final part of our young Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot’s Sporting Journey. As the observant amongst you will have noticed, Thomas’s month has run on longer than most(!) as I wanted to make the most of his amazing contribution to the Website. Despite training and competing nationally and internationally (including the CPISRA World Games in Spain) throughout the year and undergoing yet another operation, Thomas has heroically provided us with this inspiring and very enlightening glimpse into the life of a very committed and gutsy young athlete with very big dreams. We couldn’t be more proud of Thomas or more delighted that, through sheer hard work and determination, those dreams get ever closer to fulfilment. 

Thomas’s success couldn’t be more deserved. You’ve certainly done all at the DBF proud, Thomas!

We hope that 2019 will be as successful a year for him as 2018 was and wish him the very best of success ongoing. Remember the name – Thomas is already a RaceRunning force to be reckoned with and we’ve no doubt he’s going to go all the way!

Read on for Part 9 of Thomas’s Sporting Journey…

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The heat is building and so is the pressure!

Well I wished for it to get a little warmer to train and but I didn’t imagine it was going to get this hot. At least it is good training for Spain. Since my competition in June in Gloucester I have been training hard at my club Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club building up to my next competition.

We travel all over the country and my next challenge saw me compete in my very first Typhoo National Junior championships in Coventry – the home to Coventry Godiva Club. The competition was over two days and it was so hot on the track. On the first day I had the 800m, 400m and the 100m. RaceRunning was included for the first time and on the first day I had the 800m, 400m and the 100m! I was close to my Pb on my 100m and 400m and took over 6 seconds off my 800m Pb. Oh and I won 3 golds! On the second day I was also close to my 200m pb and won another gold medal. 4 golds and a pb – not bad for a weekend on the track!

 

Image curtesy of Nick Stevens
Image courtesy of Nick Stevens

 

 

On July 17th I ran another 3k road race as good CV training at Lincoln Wellington Ac. I took over 20 seconds off my 3k pb so I was really pleased with that.

As the month has gone on, my training has focused on developing my speed in preparation for a special race in Manchester. For the first time ever RaceRunning was also included in the England Athletics / CAU Disability Championships. I competed in the 100m and made the final and won a bronze medals with a new pb time.

    

As the month of July comes to an end my full focus turns to the CPISRA World Games in Spain. I am so honoured to be representing Team CP England and I’m really looking forward to representing my country again.

I’m going to be racing against athletes much older and stronger than me so I’m going to try to run the best races I can, aim for pbs and do my family and country proud.

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We’re hoping that when Thomas has recovered from his recent operation (and we’re sure you’ll join us in wishing him a speedy journey back to full spec) he will send us a report on his experiences at the World Games where he did phenomenally well representing his country against very stiff opposition. Watch this space…!

I will also put all parts of Thomas’s Sporting Journey into one document for easy reading and downloading. Ditto!

In the meantime you can see *previous posts from Thomas and find links to his fundraising page by following the link: /?s=Thomas+Talbot&from=dbf

(*NB Part 8 of the Journey hasn’t made it to the archives yet and can be found here: /bader-grants-news/thomas-my-sporting-journey-part-8)

Click on the link if you’d like to download Part 9 of Thomas’s Sporting Journey as a pdf: /wp-content/uploads/2018/10/TT-My-Sporting-Journey-9.pdf

Thomas – My Sporting Journey Part 8

With apologies for the delay – I recently found that it wasn’t as easy to carry on working seamlessly while on holiday in Australia as I’d hoped! – here is Part 8 of our wonderful young Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot’s, Sporting Journey.

We are so grateful to Thomas for sending in these great reports; an enlightening glimpse into the sheer hard graft that goes with following a dream, and the exhilaration that comes from each achievement that gets you a step closer to that goal. Thomas shows a level of determination and commitment that is worthy of a champion of the future and we have no doubt that that is what he’s going to be. We are immensely proud to have been able to support him on his Sporting Journey…

Read on for Part 8 in Thomas’s own words.

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Its not always hot on the track

Someone somewhere told me that June is supposed to be flaming hot. That was definitely not the case when we travelled up to York Athletics Track for the second York AC Summer League meeting. It was wet, wet, wet!

Despite the rain that came down all day and lots of puddles on the track I ran reasonable times for my 800m but it was slippy out there. I then ran my second fastest season time for my 100m and I ran a PB in my 200m! There were quite a few RaceRunners there and it was nice to catch up with them, despite the rain.

    

I did however get a bit of a cold and cough after York so I had to have a few days off training to recover. Lots of sleep, rest and honey to build me back up ….. and of course chocolate milk. A RaceRunners recovery drink!

I was quite pleased when we travelled down to Gloucester for the third Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics Series at Gloucester Athletics track. It was a really hot and humid day for racing and I really had to manage my hydration and also not getting too overheated.

I ran my 100m and was really close to my 100m and also my 800m. I had a puncture on my back wheel just before my 800m and it was a real race against time to get the new inner tube in and pumped back up but thanks to my Dad, we did it.

     

My next race was my 200m and I ran a personal best in that race even as it was getting hotter on track. Good practise for Spain I guess!

The last race of the day was the 400m race and I ran a PB for my 200m I also got a second puncture on the other back wheel. I have never had that before but it was a good learning for us to carry more than one spare inner tube!

I wanted to say something about my new RaceRunner. I have the new Racerunner as it was made possible by the generous and kind support of the Douglas Bader Foundation who helped to fund it. I have been racing with it for two month now and I love it so much. Without the support from the DB Foundation – I wouldn’t be where I am now so thank you so much.

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We will be publishing Part 9, the final instalment, of Thomas’s Sporting Journey shortly and he has promised us a report on his experience at the Nationals, which will be well worth waiting for…Keep watching this space!

Helpful links: In the meantime here are some links to more from Thomas:

  • Please click HERE to download a pdf of Thomas’s Sporting Journey Part 8, which can be printed and saved. 
  • Click on the link to find out more about Thomas and his Sporting Journey: /?s=Thomas+Talbot&from=dbf

 

Thomas Talbot – My Sporting Journey Part 7

I recently went out of synch with the Sporting Journey of our Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot. Thomas had recently returned from the Cerebral Palsy World Games in Spain, where he did incredibly well, returning with a Silver Medal and, following the change in his International Classification, the accreditation of GB No. 1 RR2 Male – a terrific achievement. I felt that this achievement should be acknowledged with immediate publication.

Now I’m delighted to bring you Part 7 of Thomas’s Sporting Journey. You will find previous instalments via the links below.

Now read on for Part 7 in Thomas’s own words: 

Personal Bests are Always the Goals

I have had a busy month of May with my competiton programme. After the York race on the Bank Holiday Monday, we travelled back up to York on May 12th for the second of the Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics Series. It was another warm day and I was really quite pleased with my RaceRunning races, I ran a personal best in my 100m and my 400m and solid times for my 200m & 800m.

 

On May 22nd I then took part in my first 3k of the year at the Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club Road Race Series. It was nice to run with my club mates and I ran the 3k in 17mins. It was not a bad time and great after I had also done a training session on the track too and I got a medal!

    

On May 30th I attended the Team England World Games 2018 Training Day. It was held at Moulton College in Northamptonshire and involved many of the athletes including myself who have been selected to compete for England at the Cerebral Palsy World Games in August this year. As well as track sessions, it was a busy day of learning at the Team CP England  World Games training day with classification workshop and a really helpful anti-doping workshop delivered by UK Anti-Doping.

It was really important for me as a young athlete to learn about anti-doping and clean sport as there will be anti-doping testing out at the World Games. We have to learn how to manage our medications, how to check medications and what is permitted. I don’t think my Mum will ever look at a flu remedy in the same way again. I found it really helpful and the team from UK Anti-Doping were great!

 

  

So May has been a busy month and I’d like to say it gets calmer in June but it is just as busy so I’m getting good at sleeping in cars traveling up to venues and I could not do that without the brilliant support of my Mum, Dad and my little brother Mattie. They are Team Talbot!

Useful Links: (links will open in new tabs)

Click on the link to download a pdf which can be printed or saved of the original document of Thomas’s My Sporting Journey Part 7:  /wp-content/uploads/2018/09/TT-My-Sporting-Journey-7.pdf

We’re extremely grateful to Thomas for these wonderfully readable and insightful reports into what’s entailed into pursuing your dream as an International Athlete. Part 8 will be following shortly so keep watching this space…

Thomas – My Sporting Journey Part 10: The World Games

A Spanish Silver Dream!

The start of August saw my Mum and I fly out to San Cugat, Barcelona in Spain. I had the honour of representing Team CP England at the CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association) World Games. I had been selected by Cerebral Palsy Sport, the national disability sports charity responsible for selecting and managing our England team for the Games. Team CP England, was made up of 26 swimmers and 37 athletes -including RaceRunners. We stayed in the team hotel and the day after we arrived I had my international classification again.

  

As part of international competition at my age and because of my hip surgery last year, I went through a medical review classification. This reviewed my impairment and how it impacts on my RaceRunning. Prior to this international Competition I was classified as an RR3 RaceRunning athlete. Following my medical review classification – my international RaceRunning classification changed to a lower classification of RR2.

For the World Games it is customary to have an opening ceremony and it was lovely to take part with the rest of Team CP England. The team spirit and camaraderie in the team was brilliant and it really was a fantastic team to be part of.

  

  

As part of the preparation for the World Games competition we had Team CP England team meetings, briefings and also training sessions on the track to get used to the competition venue over two very hot days.

My first race day was for the 800m and it was a straight final. With the RRR2 classification I was still racing against athletes much older than me but I was really pleased with my race. On paper I should have placed 5thbut I won a World Games Silver medal! I was so pleased and I was so proud to stand on the podium and receive my medal for my country.

    

With my change of classification the plan of four finals changed to having to run heats to try to qualify for the finals for the rest of my distances of 100m, 200m and 400m. The same day of my 800m final, I also had the RR2 male 100m heats. I had a really good race running a PB and qualified for the final later that evening. I ran the 100m final in very wet conditions and a slippy track. On rankings I should have finished 6th but I came in 4thwhich I was pleased with as I’m still not really a sprinter.

On the Friday I had my heats for the 200m. I ran a good race and also qualified for the final. I also had the qualifying heats for the 400m final later that day. I was pleased with the race and qualified for the 400m final.  I ran a solid 200m final and was placed 4th on what was quite a slow track.

  

     

Saturday saw the final day of competition and I raced hard in the 400m final and came 4thagain. I came out to the World Games with the hope of doing my country and family proud and hoped to win a medal. My first World Games ended with a World Silver medal and also ranked Male RR2 Great Britain No 1.

Team CP England had an incredible Games. Our medal target was 40 medals and our athletics and swimming team smashed that target with 100 medals. I’m so proud to have been part of such a special team and we really enjoyed our team and closing Games celebration. It was also lovely to spend time with competitors from other countries and to meet up with some RaceRunning friends from the USA, Denmark and Scotland.

  

 

My world Silver Medal!
My World Silver Medal!

It was so lovely to come to a family celebration but it wasn’t long before I was back in training. I’m now preparing from my last competition of the season which is the Cerebral Palsy Sport National Athletics Championships on Saturday 1stSeptember in Doncaster. I’m really looking forward to it and also the rest afterwards!

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all the wonderful messages of support during this season and for all the support I have been given. It means so much!

Useful Links:

Thomas’s Sporting Journey, Parts 7, 8 and 9 will follow but I wanted to post the World Games Report now as Thomas has just returned. Keep checking in for the remaining instalments…It is a great and very insightful read into following your dream to be a top athlete.

 

Thomas Talbot, our Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Gets Silver at the World Games

We are so proud of our young Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot, who has just returned from a wonderfully successful time at the Cerebral Palsy World Games in Spain.

Thomas’s International Classification changed from an RR3 to an RR2 resulting in him racing in 7 races with heats and finals rather than the 4 he was anticipating.

He had an amazing week, finishing the Games as GB No. 1 RR2 Male; World Silver Medalist for 800m; ran a personal best in the 100m and came in 4th in the 200m and 400m. This was an incredible achievement by this very talented young athlete who has a determination and work ethic that is an inspiration to all.

Thankfully Thomas was also able to enjoy time with friends both old and new while there and, most of all, was incredibly proud to have been able to represent his country in the sport he loves. It may be the first time he’s done this but we wouldn’t mind betting that it won’t be the last…!

Huge congratulations, Thomas. We know that these achievements couldn’t be more deserved.

Thomas wearing his Silver Medal.

 

You can read more about Thomas, who has been writing a fascinating and very insightful blog about his Sporting Journey during his time as Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, by clicking on the following link to Bader Grants News and reading his previous posts: /bader-grants-news?future=false

Thomas Talbot – My Sporting Journey, Part 6

Our current Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot, is currently away in Spain competing for his country in the World Games. It is a fantastic achievement and a great accolade to be chosen to represent your country and both testament to and recognition of this very dedicated young athlete’s commitment, hard work and talent. He has promised to let us know how he gets on and we’ll bring you his report from the Games as soon as we have it. In the meantime we wish him the very best of  success and we are very proud to have been able to support him on his Sporting Journey to date.

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A bank holiday for some… but no holiday for me!

On a very hot and sunny May Day bank holiday we arrived at York University Athletics Track for the York AC Summer League series. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and there was mostly able bodied athletes taking part and it was great for RaceRunning to be included. 3 RaceRunners including myself were taking part.

I had a really good 100m race and again ran a personal best – I wasn’t expecting that! It started to get really hot and the next race was the 800m. I was quite determind to beat my pb and knew it was going to plan when I heard the 400m split time that they call out to you at the bell. I finshed feeling quite exhausted but was so pleased when I knew I had taken a good chunk off my pb again. All the training thorugh the winter was paying off a bit!

I only had three races on Monday so I had a good recovery time before my 200m race and it was probably a good job as it was over 27 degrees on the track when I lined up for my 200m. It went well and again I broke my personal best that I had run in Kingston. I know it is going to be hot out in Spain at the World Games so this was good practise for those type of conditions.

The next night I was back on the track training with my coach and we worked on speed for my 200m as well as a little endurance.

I’m now resting for the rest of the week with only some gentle treadmill work as I am conpeting again on Saturday as well as making sure all my homework is done. Oh the life of an athlete!

 

Useful Links: (these will open in separate tabs)

Click on the link to download a pdf which can be printed or saved of the original document of Thomas’s My Sporting Journey Part 6