Paralympian Inspires Local Schools

Team GB Cerebral Palsy captain Jack Rutter spent Friday 27th January visiting three Derby schools to chat with pupils during assemblies.

Rutter, who has captained the England Cerebral Palsy football team and helped take Team GB to a fifth place finish at Rio 2016, visited Ravensdale Junior School, Oakwood Junior School and the Royal School for the deaf as part of a competition hosted by the Derby City SSP, who work in partnership with the Derby County Community Trust.

The ‘Road 2 Rio’ competition saw schools from across Derby getting active during 2016, schools amalgamated points based on how they performed at events with the top performers getting a visit from Rutter. Oakwood won the mainstream competition, Royal School for the Deaf finished top from the SEN schools and a pupil from Oakwood Junior School designed the winning baton as part of the competition.

As an 18 year old Jack Rutter was on the road to fulfil his dream of becoming a footballer, he was part of the Birmingham City academy and months away from signing a professional deal. An unprovoked assault on a night out left him with a fractured skull, moderate brain damage and deafness in his right ear, doctors told him he would never play football again.

Having retired from professional football, Jack received a call just after the London 2012 Paralympics from the Head of Disability Sport at the FA, asking him to trial for the England Cerebral Palsy team, this kick started his journey into disability football.

At the assemblies, Rutter talked about his journey, taught pupils some football skills and took part in question & answer sessions. The main aim being to use his experiences to inspire pupils into keeping healthy and active and to never give up.

On his journey into CP football and the assemblies Rutter said:

“I never thought I would have had the opportunity to play football again. Had I not been introduced into CP football I don’t know where I would be, I’ve always been determined to succeed but without that route to success and the motivation where can anybody go in their lives?

“My attitude now is open minded I enjoy encouraging people to take up new opportunities, gain new experiences and learn from new people. I hope that I passed some of that on to the pupils today.”

Learn more about the work of the Derby City SSP in local schools at www.derbycityssp.co.uk

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