Thomas Talbot – My Sporting Journey, Part 5

Our current Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot, has had a very busy time lately. He recently competed on the RaceRunner that was featured in his previous post, in the National Junior Championships in Coventry coming away with no less than 4 golds! He was also selected to compete at the England Athletics AAA/CAU Disability Championships and, despite racing against seniors, achieved a personal best with an extraordinary time of 24.2 seconds for 100m and won a bronze medal!

There is little let up for this incredibly determined and gifted young athlete as he will now fly our to Spain on Monday to represent his country in the World Games. 
Thomas’s achievements in his sport are extraordinary and are a testament to his guts and determination. He pursues his goal of becoming a Paralympic Athlete with inspiring determination and an incredibly arduous training and competing schedule. Nobody could deserve their success more and we are immensely proud to have been able to support him on his path to the top. 
We know you’ll join us in wishing him the very best of success in Spain. We’re behind you all the way, Thomas!

Thomas – My Sporting Journey Part 5

The start of the 2018 season – Kingston Upon Thames – April 2018

I have quite a busy 2018 competition season coming up and my first races took place at the Weir-Archer Athletics Track in Kingston upon Thames in April. The event was the first of the Cerebral Palsy Sport’s Athletics National Series and despite all the training I had done through the winter I was really nervous.

The 100m was the first race and it went quite well. When the time came in I realised I had broken my personal best time that I had last set in July 2016 at the European Championships. #Progress! The day had started well and I felt really at home on my new RaceRunner. I don’t think people realise just how important getting the right equipment is to an athlete and with the help of the Douglas Bader Foundation I was able to do that.

It was also good to see some of my Racerunning friends at the track and I do enjoy this part of RaceRunning – that I can see people who have become good friends. The next race was the 800m and I felt I had a really good race … and it was as I took over 30 seconds off my PB. The 400m and then the 200m also went really well and again I broke my personal bests for both of those events. A good day at the office!

After each event I always talk to my coach Lee at Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club at the next training session about what went well and what we feel I need to work on. He is a really supportive coach and understands me.

Knowing what competitions were next coming up we trained hard on both speed and endurance during my training sessions and also on the treadmill that I have at home to train on.


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 5


There are more instalments of Thomas’s Sporting Journey to follow and, if he has the energy after competing in Spain, we’ve been promised a report from the World Games. We very much look forward to hearing how he gets on. Keep watching this space…



Thomas Talbot – My Sporting Journey, Part 4

Here is the 4th part of our amazing Junior Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot’s, Sporting Journey. As you’ll see, Thomas was delighted to take ownership of his new RaceRunner – the superb piece of kit that he hopes (and we are sure) will help him to get to the top of his chosen sport.

Part 5 of Thomas’s Sporting Journey will follow early next week so you can follow his progress using his new RaceRunner.

We are extremely proud of Thomas and delighted to have been able to support this very determined and dedicated young sportsman on his exciting journey. 


I have trained very hard through the winter and being a teenager I’m also growing and getting much taller. We found that my medium sized RaceRunner was just too small for me. Unfortunately these wonderful pieces of equipment do not come cheap so we started fundraising for my new RaceRunner.

I had a couple of assessments and with the brilliant advice from Quest 88 who supply the RaceRunners and kindly loaned me a large and then extra large RaceRunner, we were able to make the decision on what type of RaceRunner would be right for me.


We did a lot of fundraising including crowd funding and we were over the moon when we heard that the Douglas Bader Foundation wanted to support me again to help fund my new RaceRunner.

Thank you to everyone who supports and donates to the Douglas Bader Foundation as without them this would not have happened. I couldn’t believe it when in we got the news that my new RaceRunner had arrived from Denmark and I was so excited to finally get it. It is shiny and a brilliant black colour and quite light weight.


Thomas Talbot

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 4

You can look forward to Part 5 of Thomas’s Sporting Journey, which will follow very soon.

We are extremely grateful to Thomas for sending us these fascinating and very insightful reports into what is involved in getting to the top of a chosen sport. Not for the faint-hearted…! 

Part 3 of Junior Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot’s, Sporting Journey

Herewith the 3rd instalment of Thomas Talbot’s sporting journey. Our first Junior Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas was born with cerebral palsy but, showing the Bader spirit in spades as you will see from this latest report, Thomas pursues success as a RaceRunner with a courage and determination that makes him a worthy and thoroughly inspirational BGRotM.

My Sporting Journey Part 3

Cerebral palsy and sport – it doesn’t always go your way!

When I got back from Denmark, the very next week I had to have Botox operations on my legs to help let them stretch a bit more again as they were so tight. They also found some problems with my hip.

In October 2016 I got some really bad news that I needed surgery on my hip as the hip was half in and half out. It is common with children with cp that their hip sockets don’t always form properly as they learn to walk much later than abled bodied kids.  Even so it was not the news I wanted.

In January 2017 I had hip re-construction surgery at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and I spent my 13th birthday in hospital. Not the best way to become a teenager!


I was in a hip spica for 7 weeks. After the spica came off, I had to have lots of physio! It took me until May 2017 to go back to school whilst having to learn to walk all over again. This was because they had to take quite abit of bone from my thigh to graft into my hip and I now have quite a leg length difference between my left and right legs. I got a Rotary Child of Courage Award whilst I was recovering too! I dreamt I would walk again and I promised myself I would get back on my RaceRunner. By July 2017 I was back on my feet and moving around!


By August 2017 I was back on my RaceRunner using it for walking therapy. It was a struggle and we had to adapt how I ran with a built up shoe. Quietly we trained!

In late September 2017 I returned to the track and I won the Cerebral Palsy Sport Under 14
National CP Championships for 100m, 200m, 400m & 800m and I was close to my PBs too!



All the hard work to fight back to fitness has been worth it as I found out in late October 2017 that I have been selected to represent England at the CPISRA World Games in Spain in August 2018. So the hard work starts.

I have been training hard through the winter… it has been cold… it has been wet… it has been snowy!

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 3

You can look forward to Part 4 of Thomas’s Sporting Journey, which will follow shortly…

2nd Part of Thomas Talbot’s Sporting Journey

I’m proud and delighted to present the 2nd instalment of our Junior Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot’s, story of his sporting journey. Thomas was born with cerebral palsy but hasn’t let it stop him in his quest to succeed in his chosen sport of RaceRunning.

He is such an inspiration to all, with huge courage and determination and a commitment that we have no doubt will see him get right to the top. Already, as you will see from his posts, he is well on the way. I won’t say more as Thomas puts it far better himself. So here, in his own words and pictures is Thomas. I hope you’ll be as happy as I am to know that there is more of this young sportsman’s inspiring journey to follow…Watch this space!

Getting into RaceRunning

 In August 2013 I went with my Mum to watch some cerebral palsy athletics at Gateshead. I saw RaceRunning for the first time and I was captivated and badgered my parents to let me try it! RaceRunning is running on a three wheeled trike with a saddle and no pedals and the athlete propels the RaceRunner forwards down a track. 

In late 2013, I went to a few taster sessions for RaceRunning and I was desperate to participate in RaceRunning every week. I got my wish and that is how I first became involved with the Douglas Bader Foundation. They so kindly supported me in helping to fund my very first RaceRunner of my own and we could not have done it without them and some very kind supporters who helped fund the RaceRunner. Here it is!



I will also never forget that thanks to the Douglas Bader Foundation I got to fly for the very first time with Bader Braves! I got to have a whole day of flying at RAF Waddington and I even took control of the place myself. How brilliant an opportunity is that? I’m not sure my Mum was so sure as she had to ride in the back of the plane when I took the control and quickly dipped the aircraft but we had a brilliant instructor and I loved every minute. I really felt I was following in the footsteps of Douglas Bader that day!


Starting to train and compete in RaceRunning

In November 2014 Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club agreed that I could join their club and start to train seriously as a RaceRunner.

My first competition was in May 2015 in Manchester and I ran the 100m, 200m and 400m – I was so nervous but excited as well!


I competed throughout the 2015 season and I became under 11 national champion for 100m, 200m and 400m. I also won a national award for endeavor and my District’s Young Achiever of the Year award. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me in my first year competing including the Douglas Bader Foundation and especially my Mum & Dad and little brother Mattie.


I competed as a National RaceRunner throughout the 2016 season in a number of wonderful places across the UK including Doncaster, Rotherham, York, Nottingham Gateshead and Stoke Mandeville – the spiritual home of the Paralympic Games. I really loved the thrill of competitions and taking part and best of all I met a whole new group of friends that were just like me and had cerebral palsy.

I have always found it easy to talk to adults (cos remember I can talk for England!) as most of my young life has been spent talking to doctors or physios or OTs. But I did find it hard making friends to start with when I went to school as I was so different from everyone else. But when I started competing in RaceRunning – everyone was like me. It didn’t matter if we wobbled a bit and couldn’t talk easily, we all really got on from day one and they are truly my best friends now!

The 2016 European Championships

In July 2016 I had the honour of representing England at the European RaceRunning Championships in Denmark. Before I went out I got a lot of local press coverage and was interviewed by our local radio station. It was a tough few days as it was a Training camp and classification and then two full days of competition.

I was so proud that I won gold for the 100m, 200m, 400m & 800m in the Under 13 Juniors. I loved the whole experience of travelling overseas for the first time as a team and representing my country and wearing the England RaceRunning kit.  I got my international classification at the Europeans too which enables me to compete internationally and I was classified as a RR3 RaceRunner.  I also think that I really grew as a person as I had the chance to visit a new country and meet new people and importantly make new friends from across the world.

In September 2016, I became under 13 national champion for 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. I was pleased as I had got a little bit of an injury out in Denmark and had torn a hamstring on my leg. I’d managed to recover quickly enough to compete at the Nationals and take home four titles!


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 2

Thomas’s Sporting Journey, Part 3, to follow…

Meet our new Bader Grant Recipient of the Month – Thomas Talbot!

I am so proud to introduce our new Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, Thomas Talbot. Thomas is our very worthy first Junior Bader Grant Recipient of the Month.

Thomas has almost made a profession of surprising the medical profession since his cerebral palsy was diagnosed when he was just over a year old and he wasn’t expected to walk or talk. He has certainly proved them wrong on both counts as you will see when you read his reports…. Not only can he walk but, since acquiring his first RaceRunner, he is working his way up through the ranks as a runner and has a string of wins under his belt.

Thomas’s success is absolutely deserved. He is an extraordinarily determined and committed athlete with the Bader spirit in spades. We are delighted to have been able to support him on his sporting journey.

You’re in for a treat; Thomas will be sending regular updates during his time as BGRotM and they are wonderful! I shall be posting them at regular intervals so be sure to keep checking in!

Read on for Part One of Thomas’s Sporting Story. Enjoy!

Thomas – My Sporting Story –

Part One – Growing Up with cerebral palsy

Hi my name is Thomas and I am really excited to be able to tell you a little bit of my story of how I became involved with the brilliant Douglas Bader Foundation and how they have really helped me in my sport.

I have cerebral palsy diaplegia which means I have permanent brain damage caused at birth. I know that may sound scary to a lot of people – it really means that my legs don’t work very well.

I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when I was 13 months old and the doctors told my Mum and Dad that I would never walk or talk… well they got that very wrong as I can talk for England!

You may wonder what cerebral palsy actually is? It is permanent brain damage and is often caused by lack of oxygen before, at or after birth. Despite what people say there is no cure!

Cerebral palsy affect people in different ways – some more severe than others. The type of cerebral palsy I have means that it affects both my legs, my right arm and a little impact on my sight.

I can’t walk independently and I have a great piece of kit called a kaye walker to help me get around each day. I sometimes have to use a wheelchair for longer distances and I also wears splints every day to help support my legs as I can be quite wobbly sometimes. I didn’t learn to walk until I was 4 when I got my first Kaye walker – it was quite shiny but I could really move on it once I got the hang of it!

 My Dad is in the RAF and we moved to Shropshire when I was 18 months. My physio in Shropshire referred me to hippo therapy – which is riding therapy on a horse to help build my core strength. It was the first sport I tried and I loved doing it especially when it came to riding the horses!

My physio also encouraged me to use a tricycle to build up my strength. I just thought it was fun! We came back home to Lincolnshire in 2011 when Dad was posted back. It took a long time to sort out my new physio support and the trikes really helped in the meantime to build my leg strength up.

Getting into Different Sports

I have always loved sport and I adore football and Manchester United but never thought I would be able to play as I use a Frame. I was always the boy that was left on the side lines or put in goal or the last to be picked for a team and would often get upset. Then I got involved in CP Sport and played Frame Football for the first time and I got to play Frame Football at St George’s Park and Aston Villa! I can’t play now because of my knees, hips and leg issues.

Part 2 of Thomas’s story will follow.

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 1


Thomas Making Giant Strides!

It was lovely to hear from Bader Grant recipient, Thomas, who has got in touch to tell us how he has put his grant to good use and is already making great strides on his Race Running Bike. Thomas clearly has the Bader spirit in spades and we are sure he’s going to go far in every way! Well done, Thomas.

We wanted to say a massive thank you to The Douglas Bader Foundation for the funding they have provided to our young son Thomas. Thomas has cerebral palsy and cannot walk very far independently. With funding from the Foundation, Thomas now has a wonderful Petra RaceRunning bike and has just broken 3 National age group records for Under 12’s in England with his new Racerunner. 
Thomas sends a message to everyone who supports this wonderful foundation:

Your support has made such a difference to my life. I would not be able to do what I do on the track without your kindness so I wanted again to say a big Thank you!

Thomas Talbot, Bader Grant Recipient

Here are a couple of photographs kindly sent in by his family of Thomas in action on his bike.

Thomas with racerunnerThomas with racerunner 2