Following on from the recent news that a young Salisbury athlete was awarded a full scholarship to the True Athlete Project (TAP) by Sarum Rotary Club, which gives him access to a world-class mentor for a full year, the mentor has now been revealed.
Cameron Jacobs, aged 14 from Harnham in Salisbury, who is a keen runner, has been paired with Paralympian, Chris Skelley.
Chris, a visually impaired judo competitor, will be Cameron’s mentor for 2021 and will provide him with the type of mental and emotional support that is required to be successful in sport.
Chris, who is currently ranked number 1 in the world, competed in the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, finishing 5th, and then went onto win a gold medal at the European Championships in 2017.
Cameron met Chris (virtually) for the first time on Sunday 17th January 2021. Afterwards, he said “Chris was absolutely lovely. I think he is going to be kind and inspiring.”
Cameron’s story touched the hearts of the members of Sarum Rotary Club that reviewed the applications for the scholarship because he’s had to deal with so many personal difficulties and health issues in his life already, yet he showed how committed he was to running, both for pleasure and competitively.
Cameron has enjoyed competing in both cross country and track events. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD and growth hormone deficiency. The full extent of these conditions was only realised during his transition from primary to secondary school, resulting in a very difficult year for him. Every day presents challenges for him particularly in terms of managing his ADHD, daily self-injections and navigating the world around him with autism but running has always helped him. He doesn’t let any of this stop his drive and ambition to run at the Olympics! Cameron, who now attends Grateley House School, said “people think my Autism and ADHD are disabilities and barriers, but when it comes to running, I feel like they give me a super-power that enables me to just keep going”.
Cameron’s mother, Dr Polly Jacobs, a GP at Salisbury Medical Practice, added “Cameron was so excited to meet Chris on Sunday. He had literally been counting down the days”.
Speaking of the pairing of Cameron and Chris, Andrew Longland of Sarum Rotary Club commented “We’re absolutely delighted by the announcement that Chris Skelley will be Cameron’s mentor. He will provide a talented young man with the resilience that he will need to progress in both sport and life”.