Norwich judo champion named as new patron of ADHD foundation
- Credit: Archant
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.
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'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.'
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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'His support will not only help us to challenge outdated views associated with ADHD, but will also stress the crucial importance of early intervention.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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