Anthony’s a sporting superstar

Anthony uses our Shared Lives service in the Midlands. The right hand side of his body is paralysed, meaning he needs some help with daily things like cooking, cleaning and getting out and about.

Despite his disability, Anthony has a big passion for sport and loves keeping active. His carers Kate and Peter say that ‘Anthony will not be defeated and will always find his own way of doing something.’

Kate and Peter found a centre especially for people with disabilities where Anthony could do what he enjoys most while getting tailored support. He’s been going along to this group for the last two years, and his journey has been amazing.

When Anthony first started at the leisure centre, he needed support with getting onto the exercise bike and to strap his foot onto it. He simply didn’t have the strength in his leg to hold his foot in place on the pedal.

Two years later, Anthony has built strong muscle in his right leg, meaning he can now use the exercise bike on his own.  He doesn’t need anybody to strap his foot in and can pedal with confidence. He’s come a long way with a bit of perseverance and encouragement.

Anthony had a clenched hand (caused by his body being paralysed), which meant his hand was locked tightly shut. But through exercise and continual encouragement to open his hand while on the trampoline, Anthony is now able to partly move his hand again; this has helped him to get involved in even more sporting fun. As well as working out on the exercise bike, Anthony also takes part in continuous relay, volley ball, works out on the treadmill and does trampolining classes at the leisure centre.

But that’s not all… to build on Anthony’s fitness and movement, Peter suggested to take Anthony to play football as part of a team on a Wednesday night.  At first Anthony was quite unsure about this and used to stand on the side-line and watch.  However with continual support and reassurance from Peter, Anthony now plays as part of the team and has even began to tackle members of the other team with the new found strength he now has in his legs.

And, last but not least, recently Kate and Peter thought Anthony might enjoy swimming and also that this might help to strengthen his muscles even more! This was always going to be a massive challenge, with Anthony only having half the mobility in his body.  Through sheer dedication and motivation, Anthony in now able to do 17 lengths of the swimming pool with the support of a float around his waist. This is something people never thought would be possible with his disability. The swimming has added to building muscle in Anthony’s body even more.

Anthony’s mum is extremely grateful for all the time and support that both Kate and Peter have invested into supporting Anthony to strengthen his body.  She’s noticed a big difference in his strength and fitness and says his doctor is very happy with all the progress he’s made, and how much of a positive impact this has had on his health, too!

With his carers’ help and encouragement, Anthony has been able to build his muscle strength and do the activities that he loves on his own. His determination is truly inspiring- nice work, Anthony!