James Leckey Design finalises sponsorship deal with Paralympic Star Michael McKillop
20th May 2011
Ever wondered what a gold medal looks like?
The team at James Leckey Design found out when 800m gold medal winner Michael McKillop showed them the medal he won at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. Michael was meeting the Dunmurry based manufacturer of equipment for disabled children to finalise an 18 month sponsorship deal, which will take him through to the London Paralympic Games in September 2012.
Michael, 21, from Newtownabbey just outside Belfast, is the current Paralympic gold medal holder for 800m and broke the 800m and 1500m world records at the IPC World Championships in January. He has mild hemiplegic cerebral palsy and competes in the T37 category. On Wednesday (18th May 2011) Michael was one of the Northern Irish athletes chosen to announce the locations of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Over the coming 18 months, Michael will join the Leckey team at Disability exhibitions across the UK and Ireland, starting with the Disabled Living Kidz South exhibition in Reading on the 9th June. He will meet children and talk to their parents and therapists about his training, his achievements and how a boy whose mild cerebral palsy meant he was late to start walking became a man who can run 800m in under 2 minutes.
As Michael was shown around Leckey’s factory and learnt how the equipment is manufactured, he tweeted “(Michael McKillop) is excited to finalise his contract with Leckey!” When he was introduced to the production staff, they burst into a spontaneous round of applause, and shook his hand. As Michael left, they wished him all the best for the Paralympic World Cup on Friday 27th May, and of course for London 2012. CEO James Leckey commented, “There’s a real buzz around the company about Michael. We are very proud to associate ourselves with such an amazing young man. At Leckey our philosophy has always been to design equipment that helps children with special needs reach their full potential, whatever that level is. Michael’s story is extremely inspirational, and we look forward to following his progress and working with him in the run up to London 2012 Paralympic Games.”