Loughborough University alumnus, Jonathan Broom-Edwards has not only gone on to represent Great Britain on the international stage but become World and Paralympic Champion in High Jump.
Whilst studying Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University, Broom-Edwards’ athletic career had yet to take off.
Having initially played basketball at university, Broom-Edwards tried out high jump for fun one summer as a lot of his basketball team-mates were moving away to go on placement.
“So, over the summer between my second and third year a friend and I decided to try out high jump, because we had trained our jumping ability, so we both joined Charnwood AC.
“Over the summer period we must have done about 6-8 competitions, I thought oh I’m pretty good at this.
“I always had this view of going back to basketball but during my time there I was spotted by a sports massage therapist; he saw my leg and was like tell me about your leg.
“I told him, talipes equinovarus (clubbed foot) it’s what I was born with.
“And he said you know you can classify for the Paralympics with that, and I was like nah, I had never seen myself as a disabled athlete, it was just my gammy leg.”
Broom-Edwards was born with talipes equinovarus (also known as clubbed foot), it’s a treatable condition as a baby, however it affects the individual for their whole life even if treated.
Following this conversation and watching the Paralympics, Broom-Edwards sought out classification so he could officially compete as a para-athlete.
Choosing to study at Loughborough University “totally upheaved my life” Broom-Edwards said, having graduated in 2011.
“I went to Loughborough University to study aeronautical engineering because I wanted to be a pilot when I was younger, and it was remotely related to aircraft.
“I got here and found out it was one of the hardest courses you could do.
“I really enjoyed my course, but I wanted to work more with people, I was what you call a social engineer.
“I got the opportunity to work with the guy who helped me eradicate a lot of my pain, he’s a soft tissue therapist and biomechanist in Loughborough.
“Because he relieved my pain, I was able to train better, and I found a passion in treatment and therapy, and it helped me manage my own condition.
Going on to win gold at the Athletics World Championships 2019 in Doha and then another gold at the Paralympic Games 2020 in Tokyo on top of 4 World Championship silver medals and one Paralympic Games silver medal– Broom-Edwards has had a sensational athletic career so far.
Alongside training full-time, Broom-Edwards has also just started an Osteopathy degree part time to further support his passion in treatment and therapy.
On top of this, Broom-Edwards is also a motivational speaker and sports ambassador – turning his experiences into a learning opportunity for those of all ages.
Looking forwards to the Paralympic Games 2024 in Paris, Broom-Edwards’ athletic career is not over yet.
“Ultimately now I’ve got a title I want to retain it
“But more specific for me, I feel like I’m on the cusp of getting a new personal best – I’m getting new personal bests in strength, speed, power and so it’s only a matter of time until I get it right on the day in the high jump.
“It’s been a very turbulent career but it’s been transformational for me.”
Edited by – Jasmine Trapnell (Sports Editor)
Designed by – Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)