Matthew – My Story
My name is Matthew Humphreys, I am 18 years old. I am currently a full-time student at Portland College studying for a qualification in sport and leisure BTEC level 1, and sports leader level 1. At the age of 10 I had an accident that left me with acquired cerebral palsy or quadriplegic dystonia, this means my muscles lock up and I get muscle spasms.
Where it all began
I was always a sporty child but then I had my accident and I thought I would have to give up sport. My mum took me to a Cerebral Palsy Sport athletics day, after we had been inspired by the Paralympics in 2012, I tried a variety of sports but enjoyed the seated club throw. I attended a number of athletic days which I really enjoyed, but when one of the other athletes brought her RaceRunner I knew I had found the sport I could really compete at. Cerebral Palsy Sport organised for Quest 88 to bring some RaceRunners to an athletic training day, and the rest is history!
I have with the support of Cerebral Palsy Sport taken part in the 2014 Children in Need One Show Rickshaw Challenge, that helped my confidence, and showed me what I can achieve when I set my mind to something.
The impact sport has had on my life
Sport has had a huge impact on my life because it has allowed me to build my confidence. Without the effects sport has had I would not have done most of the things that make me the person I am. The Rickshaw Challenge proved that I could do whatever I set my mind to, it helped my speech in front of others and helped my confidence in myself. RaceRunning has built my friendship group, improved my fitness and strength as well as being great fun.
I have competed at the CPISRA World Games representing England bringing home 4 silver medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m races. I have also competed in Denmark at the Race Runners International Camp and competition in 2015 and 2016, where I have won 1 gold, 4 silver, and 3 bronze medals. My times have been gradually improving and my stamina is getting better.
Ambitions and Goals
I would like to continue to compete and improve my times and results. I am in the process of setting up a RaceRunning Club in Mansfield and want to develop my coaching skills. I hope RaceRunning will soon be accepted as a Paralympic sport, if I am able I would love to represent England but as long as I am involved in the training and development of the sport I will be happy.