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Son of Paralympic hero Ian Marsden saw his dad win bronze in front of his classmates

Posted on: October 14, 2016

The son of a Paralympic medal winner has spoken of the moment he saw his dad win bronze – in front of all of his classmates.

Josh Marsden, son of Paralympic star Ian Marsden, watched his father race a personal best in the 200m paracanoe final in Rio, with this pals at Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy.

Now Ian, who was a world champion power-lifter before suffering a spinal injury which left him in a wheelchair, has been at the Blurton school all this week to give inspirational talks about resilience and determination.

Josh described the moment he saw his dad win bronze as ’emotional’.

The 12-year-old, from Longton, said: “I wasn’t expecting him to get a medal, but it was so nice seeing him get one because he’s trained all his life and he’s always wanted to go to the Paralympic Games.

“I didn’t realise he had a medal because I was focusing just on him, not anyone around him”.

“It felt brilliant seeing it with my class. He’s the coolest dad in the school. It’s nice having the medal at home, and I always want to hold it.”

Ian, aged 44, was delighted Josh was able to see the race.

The father-of-three, from Longton, said: “We knew it would be televised a couple of days before anyone knew. I didn’t want to get anyone’s expectations up just in case Channel 4 decided not to show it, so I didn’t know that Josh would be able to watch it”.

“It was good Josh was able to watch because he did want to come out to Rio, but he was at school. I hope I’ve got a message to give that you shouldn’t give up even when the tough gets going.”

Fellow Year 8 pupil Owen Comley watched the race with Josh.

The 12-year-old, from Blurton, said: “I’ve known Josh since Year 7 and he’s one of my closest mates here”.

“It was interesting and fun to watch the race in Rio. When his dad won the bronze, everyone was happy and cheering and Josh was as well. Ian is someone we can look up to.”

Grace Light, Josh’s form teacher, said the “atmosphere was electric” during the race.

She said: “The feeling among the other students was excitement and suspense. You could feel the tension in the room as we were waiting for Ian to race”.

“Josh looked so happy, his face was beaming. I really felt how proud he must have felt for his dad. I felt very emotional when I was watching the race. I think it was because Josh was right in front of me. Students can learn the importance of resilience and determination from Ian’s success.”

Wayne Trevor, media and marketing manager at Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, said: “We wanted Ian to see the whole school because it was important to get his story across. This is a big achievement for Stoke-on-Trent.”