School welcomes back double medal winning Paralympian

Pupils at Jordanstown School got the chance to meet Team Canada Paralympian and former pupil, Jason Dunkerley who won bronze in the 1,500 metres and silver in the 5,000 metres during the Paralympics. Pictured with Jason are Leeuryn Ryan, Mrs Anne Magee (Principal) and Michael Cooley. INNT 38-048-FP
Pupils at Jordanstown School got the chance to meet Team Canada Paralympian and former pupil, Jason Dunkerley who won bronze in the 1,500 metres and silver in the 5,000 metres during the Paralympics. Pictured with Jason are Leeuryn Ryan, Mrs Anne Magee (Principal) and Michael Cooley. INNT 38-048-FP
0
Have your say

Canadian Paralympics hero Jason Dunkerley made a special appearance at his former school in Newtownabbey last week.

Jason dazzled teachers and pupils when he showed off his silver and bronze medals during the visit to Jordanstown School.

He attended the school until he was 13 when his family emigrated to Canada.

Jason, who is blind, participated in the London Paralympics along with his younger brother Jonathan.

It was Jason’s fourth Paralympics. He also won medals at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Paralympics.

In London he won a bronze medal in the 1,500 metres and a silver medal in the 5,000 metres.

Originally from Newtownards, Jason paid tribute to the teachers who gave him so much support during his years at the school.

It was a particularly happy occasion for him to meet Myrtle Shannon, his former PE teacher and now vice principal at the school, who helped develop his love of sport.

Jason said the teachers were a massive influence on him in terms of giving him the confidence to pursue his goals in sport despite having a disability.

He said: “It is great to be back in a place that holds so many great memories for me and to see some of my old teachers.

“I met some of my best friends at this school and it has helped shape me into the person I am today. This place is so much more than a school, it’s like a community.”

Jason spoke to the pupils at the school’s assembly and gave them the opportunity to see and hold his bronze and silver medals.

He hoped that his Paralympics success will inspire the current children at the school.

Principal Anne Magee was delighted to welcome Jason, along with his wife Coleen, to the school which caters for the education of deaf and visually-impaired children.

She said: “The school is extremely proud of Jason’s achievements: he is a role model and inspiration to our pupils.”

Jason, who holds a degree in international development, is not the only former pupil to be a medal winner at the London Paralympics as James Brown, from Portaferry, won a bronze medal in cycling.