Graeme Ballard

graham ballardGraeme is 34 years old and lives with his mum and dad. He was born in Manchester in 1979. Delivered thirteen-and-a-half weeks early, he weighed just 2lb. He was so tiny, with undeveloped lungs, he was starved of oxygen causing cerebral palsy.Doctors warned his parents that he would never walk, or talk, and wouldn’t make it beyond his teenage years. But, despite being told to put their only son into a home, dad Dennis and mum Barbara, were determined not to give up on him. With years of tests and hospital visits the Chorley-born couple wanted their son to have a better life, so they bought him a horse for his eighth birthday. This was a turning point for Graeme.

Graeme first got involved in the sport when he was 19 while attending Beaumont College in Lancaster. He was then asked to compete at the Cerebral Palsy Sport competition, in Nottingham, an event for people with cerebral palsy, providing sporting opportunities, a year later. From the moment Graeme joined Chorley Athletic and Triathlon Club, coaches and staff members said that he stood out  because of his talent and his determination. He now trains at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk and can even lift three-times his own body weight.

In May 2012, Graeme became the world record holder in the T36 100m, securing a time of 11.98 at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. At London 2012, his third Games, Graeme won silver in this event, adding to the bronze medal that he won in the T36 200m in Athens.  Graeme most recently won a silver medal at the IPC Athletics European Championships in June 2016 in Italy.

In addition to sprinting, Graeme has a keen interest in Football and he has not only competed for the national Football 7-a-side team but also competed at a national level in Swimming. He supports Liverpool FC and his sporting hero is Steven Gerrard.

graham ballard

Graeme tells us how he felt when he was asked to be a Sporting Ambassador for CP Sport : “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been asked to be a Sporting Ambassador for CP Sport. In the past I’ve enjoyed taking part in their Sports and Athletics Days, and now it’s amazing for me to be an inspiration for children and young people with Cerebral Palsy, and show them how amazing getting involved in sport can make you feel!”

In July 2016 Graeme was named as part of the Great Britain team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Well done Graeme.