Ian is one of Great Britain’s most successful Paralympic Judoka, who is now inspiring students and staff alike to reach for their full potential in assemblies and empowerment workshops UK wide.
Ian was born with childhood eye cancer (retinablastoma) and lost his left eye and most of the sight in his right. After many operations Ian was left with a facial disfigurement and had to wear thick glasses.
At the age of seven, Ian’s self esteem was low and he was often teased at school about his appearance. His parents introduced him to Judo in order to help boost his confidence. Within three months of taking up the sport he had an improved sense of self-belief and was a much more determined individual.
Although not immediately talented at Judo, Ian worked very hard in training and had a real passion to succeed. After two years he won his first medal. His determination and perseverance paid off and he received his first international selection in 1989 whilst still in his last year at secondary school.
He competed at the European Visually Impaired Championships, and for Ian this was a dream come true and the beginning of his international sporting career. Ian was hoping to represent Paralympics GB at his 6th Games in London, but an injury forced him into early retirement in 2011 after 22 years at the top.
"I have witnessed many well-known figures give talks or speeches to a variety of audiences over my 30 + years in education, but, like the rest of our always potentially difficult and restless audience, I was spell bound by what Ian presented to us. The content of his story of personal success on a variety of levels, and the way he presented it, was simply inspirationally outstanding. In an age when value for money is a critical factor, Ian certainly ticked all the boxes, and a few that weren’t even there, but the thing he leaves us with is that you can achieve if your attitude permits it."– EPIC indeed, Deputy Headteacher, Prince of Wales Primary School
"Every year, we celebrate our students’ achievement at Rochester Cathedral. This year, we were very lucky to be joined by Mr Rose, who assisted in awarding the certificates and prizes and then gave an address to the hundreds of people in attendance. An audience made up of students, teachers, parents, carers, extended family members, governors and other guests, were privileged to hear an inspirational address from Mr Rose. In fact students and staff were talking about him long after the event."– Head of Sixth Form, Saint George’s C of E School
"We all thought (Ian) was absolutely fantastic. I would certainly recommend him to other schools. He was able to connect instantly with the audience. Ian has great presence and uses humor effectively. He was passionate and enthusiastic and was able to hold on to the audience's attention."– Rob Le Poidevin, Head of History and Politics, Sherborne School
"We have received some great feedback on both the speeches delivered by yourself and also from Claire Young. Your pitches were spot on with perfect messages for our two groups of students. It was a pleasure to meet you both, such energetic people which is refreshing!"– Theresa Moynihan Swindon Academy, PA to the Headteacher
"Ian was fantastic thank you - an inspiration and a great speaker."– James Sharpland, Headteacher, Ashlyns School Berkhamsted
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