First ever win is world championship
A West Oxfordshire man is a new World Champion after representing Great Britain in the Triathlon (athlete with a disability race), in Vancouver, Canada on Saturday 7th June. It is his second medal within a week as he gained Silver in the British Disabled Triathlon in Rotherham on 1st June.
Registered blind, Graham Kiff, aged 40, of The Springs, Witney trains 6 days a week alongside his guide, Dennis Murphy, also from Witney. Most of their training is done at the council-owned Windrush Leisure Centre, Witney.
Commenting on winning the Gold award Graham said, “It felt weird, I hadn’t even won an egg and spoon race before. It’s certainly made all the hard work training worthwhile.”
Cllr Hilary Biles, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism said, “I heartily congratulate Graham on winning his Gold Medal He is truly an inspiration and is constantly raising the profile for disabled athletes. He is a superb role model for everyone.”
Graham Kiff’s next big challenge is the London Triathlon on 9th August, the biggest Triathlon event in the world with over 10,000 entrants. Taking part will be 21 visually impaired athletes, entered as a group called Project Viper, an initiative whereby Graham has played an important role. Project Viper will be raising money for sight-related charities and spreading the word that visual impairment is no barrier to taking on physical challenges that would exceed the abilities of the large majority of able-bodied people.
Graham said, “It will be great to see that many people taking part as last year I was the only visually impaired athlete. On the day, I think it will feel as good as winning the gold medal.”
Graham has been supported by West Oxfordshire District Council with a £250 Sports Achievement Award and help with access to the swimming pool at the Leisure Centre. For further information about the Sports and Arts Achievement Award scheme visit: www.westoxon.gov.uk, or contact Leisure and Tourism on 01993 861080.
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