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Jonathan Bates: “My Life Has Changed, Not Ended.”

8 February 2017

The Reds support lifelong fan in his quest to get to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games!

Barnsley Football Club are calling on our community of fans to help Paralympic hopeful, Jonathan Bates, raise enough money to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Due to funding being cut on his shooting discipline, Jonathan needs to raise his own funding to continue his training and make it to Tokyo where he would compete for Team GB.

On 18th February 2015, Jonathan who is a Season Ticket Holder here at Oakwell had an unfortunate life-changing accident when he came off his motorbike. The 46-year-old married father of two was left disabled from the chest down, meaning he is now wheelchair-bound.

An avid Barnsley supporter from Worsbrough Bridge, Barnsley, Jonathan continues to attend every home game and is a popular figure around the Club on a matchday, showing strength and continued commitment despite his recent struggles.

Whilst in hospital during his rehabilitation period during February 2016, Jonathan attended the ‘Spinal Games’ at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium to compete in the shooting discipline, representing the Northern General Hospital Spinal Unit Team.

He was spotted by the Team GB Paralympic coaches and ended up being one of three Paralympic Athletes selected to represent Team GB on an International level.

Talking about his journey into Team GB, Jonathan said, “I was one of only five people asked to go back with other GB coaches present for extra shooting judgement. I did and only three of us passed and they have been training me since as they believe I have great potential to win medals. It would be a dream to make it to Tokyo and fly the flag for Barnsley and Team GB. I thoroughly appreciate any support that Barnsley fans can offer to get me there and if I make it, I will represent the town with pride and will give it my absolute all to bring home a medal!”

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher is backing Jonathan’s campaign to make it to Toyko and commented, “Jonathan’s hard work and dedication after such a terrible accident is an inspirational tale of bravery and courage. It would be great if he could join the list of Olympians from Yorkshire and represent Barnsley as part of Team GB at the Paralympics in Tokyo. I wish him all the best in his attempts to get the sponsorship he needs and I hope people will get behind him.”

Jonathan is one of our own and everyone at Barnsley Football Club is fully behind his campaign to get to Tokyo. We are a Club that will always support the local community and our loyal fans where possible and we are delighted to help Jonathan make his dream come true. If Jonathan makes it to Tokyo he will represent Barnsley, South Yorkshire and Great Britain and this is something that makes us immensely proud to support his journey. Please help Jonathan and donate where you can.


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