James Ledger - Sports Inspired by You
As part of our new Sport Inspired by You campaign we have taken real life stories from athletes of all abilities to inspire the next generation of athletes. Sport is a great way to improve yourself both physically and mentally as well as a great way to make new friends. Many do often wonder how others got started or can be overwhelmed at the beginning stages. So let these stories show you how anyone can get involved and just how fun and exhilarating sport can be.
What got you interested in athletics?
Growing up for me sport was about fitting in, just because I had a disability I didn't want to be left out. I just wanted to do what my friends did. Having a visual impairment it was difficult to play to the standard I expected from myself. This really knocked my confidence, I use to get so frustrated with myself for not being able to do the most simplest of tasks. Team sports really affected me as I never wanted to let my team mates down, or be seen as the boy who couldn't see properly.
My interest in athletics started simply by wanted to get faster to keep up in the playground and in PE. In athletics it is just you standing at the start line no one else which is something I loved, I didn't feel the pressure of letting others down! From 16 I fell in love with sprinting, I became obsessed with how fast I can get my body to move. For me it has given me the confidence which I never had to excel in sport. Not only has it given me the confidence on track but it has help me massively off track too. Sport has changed my life without athletics I would still be the shy boy who didn't want to stand out, who had no confidence or no aspirations. Sport has given me a purpose it has also given me the opportunity to share my story and help others with a disability to realise their own potential in whatever path that is.
Who has been your inspiration throughout your career?
For me my huge inspiration and person who has pushed me to be the best person I can be on and off track is my father. Due to my disability I am unable to drive which proves extremely difficult getting to training and competitions, my dad is always there for me to get me to where I need to be. So I defiantly wouldn't be representing my country or doing what I do without him, I share every success with him and my amazing family.
Representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games was the best experience of my life thus far and sharing moments like that with my father and family is the best feeling.
Any goals both small and large scale you have set for yourself you have either achieved or are working towards?
My previous large goal was to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, which I achieved with the help of the amazing team I had around me, especially from my coach Christian Malcolm.
For this season coming up the goal is to be in the best shape possible to run personal bests and push for a spot on the Great Britain team for the World Championships team in November which will be held in Dubai. Looking ahead to 2020 Paralympic year again it's trying to move up the world rankings and push for a spot on that team! With hard work and dedication anything is possible these no short cuts in athletics just hard work so I will be doing everything I can to be on the team.