Harry’s Great British Triumph
By: Philippa Harrington, On: 26 October 2018
Fish Insurance is supporting a young man’s journey to take part in the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in March 2019.
Fifteen-year-old Harry from Hertfordshire, has been playing basketball since he was nine years old and is one of only ten to be selected to take part in the Special Olympic Games.
Harry was born in 2002 and began to experience seizures at just seven weeks old. At the age of five Harry was further diagnosed with Autism, with professionals advising that Harry’s mental capacity as he grew would be that of a child half his age.
Medical professionals also advised that Harry would only be able to walk a very short distance before becoming particularly tired and reverting to use of a specially adapted push chair. Despite Harry’s struggles with gross motor skills and navigating the world through Autism, he has always shown great determination.
This determination has come to the fore within his sporting activities. Harry’s parents discovered a Special Olympics Athletic club which he tried out and really enjoyed. Attending the athletic sessions really helped to strengthen Harry’s muscles and boost his self-esteem and confidence. This led to Harry joining their basketball club aged nine and he’s never looked back.
He has gone from strength to strength and developed a huge passion for basketball. Harry is now an assistant coach for a one-hour basketball session for children that are less able and then goes on to take part in a further two-hour session for his own training.
Harry’s mum, Sharon said:
“We are so thankful to Fish Insurance for their generous donation towards Harry’s fundraising campaign. We have now reached our collection target, which will now allow Harry to focus on training and preparation with his team in the run up to the Special Olympic games in Abu Dhabi next March. We are so proud of Harry and his journey to get here, the support he has received from so many people is beyond our wildest expectations and has made us realise how lucky we are as a family to have such great people and organisations around us.
Considering the challenges Harry has had to overcome over the years to get where is today and to now be able to represent his country in such an amazing event is something we wouldn’t have dreamed possible all those years ago when he was first diagnosed with Autism at the age of 5.
Thank you once again and we look forward to providing you regular updates on Harry’s journey to the games in Dubai and how and the team perform.”
Harry shared his hopes and dreams for the upcoming competition, saying:
“I’m happy and grateful for all the help and donations I have been given that have helped me be able to play my favourite sport for my country. I hope that I can win a gold medal!”
Andy Mellor, head of Business Partnerships at Fish Insurance, added:
“We were delighted to hear about Harry’s success in getting selected for the Special Olympics and were more than happy to pledge our support.
We provide specialist insurance for people with disabilities and one of our main areas of focus is to offer policies which allow people to lead a full and active life. Hearing how Harry has defied medical opinion and gone on to play sport at this level is completely inspiring.
We look forward to seeing his progress and will definitely be cheering him on when he’s in Abu Dhabi next year!”
Fish Insurance has been providing specialist insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions, disabilities or mobility issues in the UK for more than 40 years.
If you want to sponsor Harry, visit his JustGiving page here.