Written by Sam Thomas Parfitt
Here's an interesting article about K&P Chucker, Jamie Gane. Have a read!
Kingston-Based Adaptive Athlete Jamie Gane Forms Partnership with U.S. Elite Coach
Jamie Gane, member of the Kingston Athletics and Polytechnic Harriers, has been matched with Paul Pisani, ten time New York State cycling champion and world-class tennis coach, as part of a groundbreaking mentoring program.
The organisation behind the program is The True Athlete Project (TAP) - a non-profit formed of athletes, coaches, psychologists, mindfulness teachers and policymakers, including Norman Lamb MP, former UK health minister; Laurence Halsted, a British Olympic fencer; and Pam Boteler, the first woman to defeat men in the US canoeing championships. Their aim is to unleash the power of sport as a force for good in society.
Jamie is one of the latest athletes to join the project’s mentoring program, which matches aspiring young athletes with Olympians, Paralympians, and elite coaches. Over the next year, he will have the chance to explore different practices — including mindfulness and social activism — designed to improve sporting performance, nurture wellbeing, and promote a compassionate culture of sport.
24 year-old Gane had his right leg amputated back in 2016 after suffering from chronic, undiagnosed pain since the age of nine. The condition became so severe that even the touch of wind or water was excruciating. Now, post-op and with a new prosthetic, he is training and competing harder than ever — in Judo, throwing, and Tough Mudder runs — with his eyes set on Tokyo 2020.
Jamie has shown incredible courage and spirit through his most difficult times, using his love of sport to gain strength and to inspire others, a kindred mission with that of The True Athlete Project.
Gane first discovered TAP through fellow Surrey-based athlete Souleyman Bah, who joined the mentoring program in 2017.
“Souleyman and I are part of a 4K group — four athletes working towards Tokyo 2020. I saw a post from TAP on Souley’s Facebook page and thought I’d investigate. The chance to be mentored in this way by an elite athlete is truly unique.”
Jamie has been paired with Florida-based Paul Pisani, a ten time New York State cycling champion and pro tennis coach. Paul has worked with athletes such as Ashley Harkleroad, Sam Querry, and Robby Ginepri, taking them to victories in international competition, including at the U.S. Open.
Paul is also the owner of PK’s Bike Shop in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The shop is named after his daughter, Parker Kate, who was born with a condition called Lissencephely. Through PK’s, Paul supports the Fernandina Beach Participatory Program, working to mobilize his community in support of residents with disabilities.
Paul embodies the organisation’s definition of a true athlete - someone dedicated to using sport as a vehicle for change. Some of TAP’s current mentors include Swiss Ice Hockey goalkeeper, Florence Schelling; five-time British Olympian, Frances Houghton; Harvard’s most successful Olympian, Caryn Davies, and Sussex cricketer, Lewis Hatchett.
“I’m excited to help a mentee have a healthier and happier life through sport,” says Paul.
As mentor and mentee, Paul and Jamie will work together to complete a groundbreaking programme including modules on performance, mindfulness, identity and values, community responsibility, and nature and connectedness.
Follow Jamie’s journey at http://www.jamiegane.com
And if you, or an athlete you know, would like to get involved, TAP currently offers classes and coach training, and is accepting applications on its flourishing mentoring program. Simply visit the website to find out more: https://www.thetrueathleteproject.org
Credit: Sam Thomas Parfitt
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