This is a great video which helps to educate people about dwarfism. It challenges the myths and encourages an understanding that people born with dwarfism have the same jobs, daily routines, passions for sport and family life aspirations as everyone else.
I remember meeting Nichola who features in this video when my son was just four months old. I was always impressed by her positive outlook on life. Seeing her as a professional woman and mother who just happened to be born with achondroplasia like my son gave me such encouragement that my baby would one day be able to achieve whatever he put his heart and mind to.
Competitive sport has become part of my seven year old’s life because of the work of the Dwarf Sports Association (DSA) which has given him opportunities to compete against his peers. The reality for Samuel amongst his peers at school is that he will always be disadvantaged in a running race or sporting competition as his legs are shorter. However at the DSA annual games event in Birmingham, UK, he can do athletics and team sports and have a good chance of winning.
Samuel returned from the DSA this year with a medal for every event he competed in, this was such a boost and encouragement for him. Ellie Simmonds (GB Paralympic swimmer), and Patron of the DSA even presented him with one of his medals.
(Samuel’s medals- Gold: 20 metres running, Silver: 10 metres running, Silver: new age curling, Silver: cycling, Gold: football, Gold: hockey)
Celebrity endorsements for edition two of Strong and Mighty Max
Sporting celebrities Ellie Simmonds and Jahmani Swanson have both agreed to endorse edition two of Strong and Mighty Max.
Ellie is a British Paralympian Swimmer who was born with achondroplasia like Max. She has become famous around the world for her Paralympic success, competing in S6 swimming events. She made her debut on the world stage at the age of 13, when she competed for Great Britain in the 2008 summer Paralympics in Beijing, winning two Gold medals. Her success continued in 2012 at the London Paralympics when she won another two Golds, including setting a World Record in the 400m freestyle. The most recent Paralympics held in Rio in 2016 Ellie went on to win another Gold, this time setting a world record for the 200m medley.
Ellie continues to be a great role model for young people, and plays a vital role as patron of the Dwarf Sports Association (DSA) where she spurs young people on to achieve their dreams in competitive sport.
Jahmani Swanson, otherwise known as Mani Love, became famous for his skills and talent on the basketball court. In 2017 he signed with the Harlem Globetrotters. Born with dwarfism, like Max, he is 4-foot-5 inches tall and is arguably the shortest professional basketball player in the world.
Both Ellie and Jahmani feature as positive role models in the learning activities at the back of the book, and you can learn more about their success by watching the videos which feature in the learn section of this site.
Edition Two of Strong and Mighty Max will be available later this year from online retailers: Waterstones.com and Amazon.com. The book will also be available as an e-book which can be downloaded from amazon. To register your interest in the second edition of this children’s story, click here.