Mitchell Graham – Reflections and Looking Forward

Head and shoulders of Mitchell Graham

2016 was a great year, I balanced my work (Forth Valley Disability Sport), university (Canterbury Christ Church/YMCA George William College), training (athletics – preparing for Deaflympics 2017) and volunteering (SDS Young Persons Sport Panel).

The highlight of my year was focusing on my training because I believe that I can achieve at the Deaflympics in 2017.

I train five times a week, four of those sessions are with the club and the other session is flexible. Training with Falkirk Victoria Harriers club and my training is based at Grangemouth Stadium for track sessions. I have been selected to represent Great Britain to compete at Deaflympics in Turkey in July 2017 and GB Deaf Athletics do not received any funding from National Government or UK Sport therefore we have to find funding for ourselves. This was a challenging task however, one fundraising idea I came up with was to give a signed photo of a high performing sportsperson to anyone who donated money. I suggested donation amounts for each prize photo and entered donator names into a prize draw to determine who won the photo. Sourcing the signed photos was sometimes difficult but I met lots of great athletes on my search!

I have been working for Forth Valley Disability Sport since 2013 and studying at the same time. I am studying a Youth Work in Community Sport/Social Pedagogy degree so it is an exciting and challenging year ahead for me in 2017.

I am looking forward working in 2017 because there are many exciting projects in the year ahead for the Branch. For example, Forth Valley Disability Sport are taking a team of athletes and players to the Special Olympic Games in Sheffield in the summer, are hosting an AGM and awards night in February and many other events and projects that will be ongoing throughout the year. Personally, I will be completing my Level 5 Degree, starting my Level 6 Degree in May, competing at the Deaflympics in Turkey in July and finishing 2017 higher than I did in 2016.