Loreto’s very own Paralympic athlete Josh Howard is reflecting on an amazing three days earlier in the month which saw him competing in an international event in Grosseto, Italy. A level student Josh is a long jump specialist and was delighted to beat his personal best, jumping 5.32m, a distance which puts him at number one in the world rankings and exceeds the Olympic entry standard. The ex-Reddish Vale pupil thoroughly enjoyed the experience of performing in front of an enthusiastic crowd in a superb stadium. Josh does point out however that in common with all high class athletes he has the ability to switch off from distractions and to focus exclusively on the task in hand. Josh enjoyed the warm sunny weather but was quite relieved that on the day of the long jump event the clouds descended, rain set in and it became rather like….Manchester!

Multi-talented Josh also competes in the 100m and 200m and is now looking towards the European Championships, to be held in Grosseto in June. He hopes that this will be a stepping stone to selection for the Olympic team, which leaves for Rio later in the summer. Not content with this Josh has his sights fixed on a further goal: the World Paralympic Championships, to be held in London in 2017. Josh feels that it would be amazing to be selected for the Olympic team and to compete in Rio but that representing Britain in London would be even better as it would enable him to perform in front of family and friends on home soil.

You can read more about Josh here.