Mark Palmer is off to Bloemfontein, South Africa, next month, to compete at the IAADS (International Athletics for Athletes with Down’s Syndrome) World Championships.
Mark, pictured below, previously won Bronze in the 400m at the 2014 European Championships in Portugal. He will now form part of the GB Team competing against 10 other countries including; Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Turkmenistan and Venezuela.
In the 1990s athletes with Down’s Syndrome could be seen competing with other athletes with intellectual disability in many events including the Paralympics. Unfortunately, as sport for people with Intellectual Disabilities developed athletes with Down’s Syndrome found themselves unable to match the performances being established because athletes with Down’s Syndrome have additional functional and physical disability due to their condition. In 2008 IAADS was created to restore equal competitive opportunities for athletes with Down’s Syndrome enabling them to compete against other athletes with the same abilities.
The opportunity to be competitive enhances so many aspects of the life of an athlete with Down’s Syndrome; Exercise and the development of skills, encouraging fitness and well-being. In addition, taking part in competitions and being a member of a club or a team gives many opportunities to socialise and develop friendships. Not to mention the opportunity to travel to competitions world-wide.
Mark was also nominated for the Express and Echo “Disabled Sports Personality of the Year” and recently had a short film made about his athletic achievements.
If you’d like to find out more about IAADS, Down’s Syndrome or Exeter Harrier’s Equity Policy please see the links below