Paralympian visits St Albans charity

Ali Jawad, world record Paralympic powerlifer and Crohn’s and Colitis UK champion pays a visit to st

Ali Jawad, world record Paralympic powerlifer and Crohn’s and Colitis UK champion pays a visit to staff at the head office in St Albans - Credit: Archant

Paralympic powerlifting champion Ali Jawad put his weight behind a St Albans charity when he visited their offices Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity offices in St Albans last Friday. (17)

Ali brought along his gold medal from his Asian Open championship triumph in November when he called in at Crohn’s and Colitis UK in Sutton Road.

The Lebanese-born British Powerlifter has been an ambassador for the charity after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2009.

The 25 year old was born without any legs and has had a burning desire from childhood to be a Paralympian. After winning Gold at the 2007 European championships and the 2008 World Junior championships, his dreams were nearly shattered after being diagnosed with Crohn’s.

Ali said: “It was really hard to adapt my training. After being diagnosed, doctors said I should retire and wouldn’t be able to compete but we have put things in place so it doesn’t affect me too much.

“The support I received was massive; my Mum has done loads for me, friends cheered me up and my coach kept his faith in me. Their confidence in me made me feel good enough to try for Paralympic Gold.”

Ali, who is in his second year studying sports science at Leeds Metropolitan University, said that reading about Sir Steve Redgrave suffering from colitis provided extra inspiration.

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He added: “It has made me appreciate the little things in life. The Crohn’s community is tight-knit and hearing other people’s experiences put everything in place for me.

“My training has massively increased; I keep an eye on any symptoms that could flare up. I have a nutritionist and keep a strict diet of three meals a day usually consisting of fish and cooked vegetables.”

Ali has high hopes in the powerlifting events at this year’s World and Commonwealth Games. “I feel hard done by with fourth-place at London 2012; my aim is a medal, which would be great in front of a ‘home’ crowd in Glasgow”, he added.