From chance meeting to a new leg

September 15, 2014

Jono Brownjohn’s new leg is built for speed and he is hoping it will take him all the way to the Paralympics in Rio.

The New Plymouth Boys’ High School student is in the top five in the world for high jump for an athlete with a disability, in the top 20 for 100 metre sprint and top 30 for the long jump.

And that was competing with a normal, everyday, artificial leg. Now, thanks to Sport Taranaki chief executive Howie Tamati and the New Plymouth Egmont Lions Club, Brownjohn has a new lighter blade to run on.

Tamati came across Brownjohn, 18, when the teenager had a broken, artificial, foot, so he decided to try and get him a new leg.

When he was invited to speak at the Lions club, Tamati took the opportunity to ask the club for a donation.

Membership chairman Graham Whittle said the club did not hesitate and decided to pay the full price – $2070.

Whittle and two other club members were chuffed to be invited to the Sport Taranaki office to meet Brownjohn and see the new leg.

Brownjohn said he was “stoked” with the blade, but would have to learn how to run in it as it would use different muscles.

He wants to move to Dunedin next year to do a diploma of applied exercise and train with Paralympics New Zealand.

A competition in Australia is on the agenda followed by a trip to Doha to qualify for Rio. He is confident he’ll make the cut in the high jump and has high hopes for the 100 metres and the long jump.

– Taranaki Daily News

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