Paralympian inspires pupils during special visit

Paralympic medallist Ali Jawad inspired Rossett School students with his story of triumph in the face of adversity when he visited them in Harrogate.

Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:42 pm

The 27-year-old British powerlifter, who won silver at the Paralympics this summer in Rio, is the reigning World and European Champion.

Ali was born without legs in war-torn Lebanon - his father was asked by a doctor whether they should end his “doomed” life. But his parents escaped with their children to Britain where, growing up in north London, Ali’s sporting talent became evident in judo classes – and when he went to a gym, his immense upper body strength became obvious.

He was invited to Rossett School to share his inspirational story with years 9, 10 and 11.

Laura Macaulay, deputy head, said: “We were honoured that Ali could come to Rossett. The students were in awe of him.

“His story is one of perseverance and that fits really well with our school ethos - Rossett’s Three Rs: Responsibility, Resilience, and Reflection.”

Ali is currently ranked number one in the world in the under 59kg powerlifting class and holds British, European, and World records.

In addition to his physical disability, he has also had to learn to live with Crohn’s disease. Students listening on the day found his ‘can do’ attitude and fortitude to be an inspiration.