Judo Paralympian who suffered eye cancer inspires students

Paralympian Ian Rose with students at Hastingsbury Business and Enterprise College.
Paralympian Ian Rose with students at Hastingsbury Business and Enterprise College.

Students at a Kempston school were treated to an inspirational assembly given by Ian Rose – one of Great Britain’s most successful Paralympians.

Ian Rose, a Judoka team member who contracted eye cancer (Retinablastoma) and lost his left eye and most of the sight in his right, paid a visit to Hastingsbury Business and Enterprise College.

Following many operations Ian was left with an indent on the right side of his face and having to wear some special glasses for the rest of his life.

However despite his disabilities Ian went on to learn Judo and qualified to represent Great Britain in the European Visually Impaired Championships, the World Champions and five Paralympics.

Throughout the assembly for year 9 students, Ian discussed how he began his career in Judo and how he overcame each obstacle to win a Bronze Medal at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996 and a Silver Medal in at the Athens Paralympics in 2004.

Ian said: “Life is full of opportunity, don’t let it pass by.” He described his ‘Gold Medal Moment’ was when he was selected to be a 2012 Olympic torchbearer and asked to perform in the opening ceremony in front of his friends and family.

The students found his exciting and sometimes difficult journey through his sporting career inspiring and exhilarating.

Year 9 student Tim Bartley said: “He was really motivating. He didn’t let anything stop him from achieving his dreams, not his disability or injury or anyone else’s opinion.

“He really made me realise that if you want something enough you have to work for it and not let anyone stop you reaching your dreams.”

Patrycja Flontowicz, also in year 9, said; “I think it’s amazing that even though Ian is almost completely blind he has never stopped trying to be the best.

“It just goes to show there is no excuse for not trying to achieve your goals. I think he is incredible and that we should all try to be as focused as Ian.”