Harry enjoys one-to-one coaching with 2012 Paralympian Jack Bridge

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Harry Butterfield with Paralympian Jack Bridge Harry Butterfield with Paralympian Jack Bridge

A boy with haemophilia spent the day with a paralympian with the same condition to learn how he ovecame his difficulties to succeed in top-level sport.

Harry Butterfield, 12, of Leyton, and 24 other boys met with Jack Bridge, the holder of six British swimming titles.

Haemophilia causes the blood not to clot and can result in painful symptoms in joints and muscles.

Harry was nominated to take part in the event, organised by the Buddy Award Swimming Academy, by a nurse at the centre where is treated.

He took part in swimming lessons and a special question and answer session with Mr Bridge.

Harry’s mum, Lisa, who accompanied Harry to Row Baths in Islington, said: "Harry was over the moon to be nominated for the Buddy Award Swimming Academy and he had an amazing day.

"Having a rare disease that many people don’t understand can be quite isolating, so the opportunity to have a fun day with other boys in the same position was one Harry wouldn’t have missed for the world.

"The icing on the cake was meeting Jack, a world-class athlete who hasn’t let his Haemophilia hold him back in any way."

Developed by some of the UK’s leading nurses, physiotherapists, consultants and swimming coaches, the academy encourages and supports children with Haemophilia to take up swimming.


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