Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Paralympic athlete working hard to hurdle challenges - Visually impaired Jason Brown passes four CSEC subjects

Published:Sunday | August 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming
Jason Brown ... with his medals from last year's World Para Athletics Championships.

Paralympian Jason Brown has become so used to surmounting great obstacles in his life that he was never in doubt that he would get past the challenge that his CXC examinations posed.

The 2017 World Para Athletics Junior 100m (T12) silver medallist successfully passed the four CSEC subjects he sat in May, getting Grade 2 for Office Administration, Principles of Business, and English A, and Grade 3 for Social Studies.

Born visually impaired, the Salvation Army School for the Blind and Visually Impaired student always had to work twice as hard to live a normal life in a country whose environs are not always friendly to the disabled.

His life became more difficult, he says, when he was kicked out of his mother's house after he got into an argument with his stepfather three weeks ago.

Now living with his visually impaired girlfriend, Tashana Ellison her family in their Riversdale, St Catherine, home, Brown believes that his latest success suggests that he has become equipped to overcome any challenge life might throw at him.

"I was pretty confident that I had done well on my exams because I prepared myself despite the challenges," Brown told The Sunday Gleaner. "My teachers always tell me that I should be able to tell whether I pass an exam or not, and I knew I had done well."

The student-athlete's preparation for the examinations was made more arduous as he tried to fulfil his potential as a Paralympic athlete.

 

DIFFICULT PERIOD

 

"It was difficult because I had to train. And to leave from school in Spanish Town to travel all the way to UWI (University of the West Indies, Mona) to train was challenging," Brown said. "Even at training, it is difficult because I am only able to train in the nights because of school. I have to train under the lights and the glare is not good for my eyes."

Brown's athletic abilities were discovered last year when a scout from the university carried out an assessment at his school.

"After the assessment, they took me up to UWI and I started to train," the 19-year-old said. "I made it to the Junior Para Athletics Championships, where I won a silver medal in the 100m."

He also represented the country at the Senior Para Athletics Championship and the Commonwealth Games this year.

Brown is now eking out a living as a construction worker, but he is afraid that the job might be too physically demanding when he resumes training for the 2019 athletics season.

"He wants a job that would allow him to not be tired in the days because he has training in the nights," said girlfriend Ellison, who also got favourable results in three of her examinations.