Norwich judo champion named as new patron of ADHD foundation
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 July 2014
A visually-impared judo champion who said he hated "almost every minute of school" has been appointed the patron of a charity for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Norwich-born Jonathan Drane did not have any additional support for his condition until he was diagnosed at the age of 15, and so was often excluded from lessons, and wracked with feelings of self doubt and anxiety.
Now 27, he won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Championships in 2010, and has won gold medals at the VI US Open and Sao Paulo Grand Prix. In 2013, he won a place in the Great Britain sighted judo team.
He said: “I hated almost every minute of school as I was constantly being told that I shouldn’t be in a normal school and that I should be in a loony bin. This massively knocked my confidence and made me question my own existence in education, as well as my value as a person.
“I got into judo at 13, purely by chance, but it really helped me get through my teenage years and continues to have an enormous impact on my life.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
ADHD symptoms include hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity, resulting in frustration, anxiety, intolerance, aggressive behaviour and inability to regulate the emotions.
The ADHD Foundation said low psychological resilience is a core symptom of ADHD, and predisposes children to other mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
It said it is the most prevalent neurodevelopmental condition in childhood, affecting 5-8 per cent of the UK population – approximately 500,000 school children. However, it said population data suggests the number of children actually diagnosed is 1-3pc, which it said suggests there are many children without appropriate support to reduce the long term risks for health, well being, educational attainment, employability and a range of life chances affected by ADHD.
The ADHD Foundation was set up in 2007 to support children, young people and their families living with ADHD.
The charity, which is based in Liverpool, said it is the largest patient-led organisation in the UK, supporting more than 300 families every year and delivering training across the UK.
It is funded by NHS CAMHS, Big Lottery, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief, and has a multi-disciplinary team of 15 staff, working in close partnership with clinicians from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to provide a range of therapeutic interventions.
For more information visit www.adhdfoundation.org.uk or follow the foundation on Twitter @ADHDFoundation.
“Although the next 18 months are going to be extremely busy, as I work towards qualifying for a place at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, I am passionate about the support that the ADHD Foundation is giving to children, young people and their families living with the condition.
“I also want to challenge the stigma associated with ADHD and show other young people living with the condition that anything is possible, whatever life throws at you.”
Mr Drane is training full time at the British Judo Centre of Excellence, and currently based at Walsall, and has also started working towards a degree in psychology at The Open University.
Tony Lloyd, acting chief executive of the ADHD Foundation, said: “Jonathan is a shining example of someone living with ADHD who has beaten the odds and achieved remarkable things.
“His support will not only help us to challenge outdated views associated with ADHD, but will also stress the crucial importance of early intervention.
“Perhaps most importantly though, he is able to relate to the children and young people we work with as he knows only too well the lived realities of having the condition.”
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