Spirit of Toughness: Jordan Jarrett-Bryan

We talk to the wheelchair-basketball player and television presenter about overcoming obstacles and succeeding in life

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In the current issue of Dazed, wheelchair-basketball player and television presenter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan introduces us to Channel 4's Paralympic reporters. Having edited Live Magazine and played wheelchair basketball at club and national level for 15 years (becoming a European champion with the GB Junior wheelchair basketball team twice) he's an ideal candidate for our "Spirit of Toughness" Award. Overcoming huge life obstacles to get to where he is today, he embodies the kind of strength, toughness and fighting spirit we all strive for. He speaks to us about the upcoming Paralympics and what the future holds.

I have the biggest respect for people who don't wait for success, but seek and make it

Dazed Digital: What do you think is the greatest misconception about Paralympic sports?
Jordan Jarrett-Bryan:
That it's an inferior sporting competition to the Olympics and that the sports don't take the same level of dedication, skill and sporting knowledge as those in the Olympics. There's still the awwww factor, when people see a disabled person competing, falling out of their chair or losing. We must remember disabled athletes are sportsmen/women and must be treated as such. Footballers fall onto the floor all the time, so why is it shocking if a wheelchair basketballer player falls out his/her chair? 

DD: Who has been your most inspirational figure and why?
Jordan Jarrett-Bryan: There's been a few. My mum, for her relentlessness for high standards and my dad for his ability to go to the top of his profession, maintain and constantly build other musicians to reach the top; all for the passion for the music he loves. My basketball mentor, Leroy Dobson, was instrumental in me becoming the player I am today and also growing as a young man. But Sam Conniff, who gave me my first editorial position, has made the biggest impact on my professional life. I have the biggest respect for people who don't wait for success, but seek and make it. Sam, has been the man I have looked up to for years, and like my dad, is a rare beast, in that he's combined being very successful and well loved while also respected by his peers. Never heard a bad word against him.

DD: Having achieved so much in your life so far, what is your biggest aspiration now?
Jordan Jarrett-Bryan: I'm stepping things up again. As much as I have achieved, I have so much more to do. And maintaining success is the real test for me. I want to be a successful sports broadcaster and I will be. Getting to the top of the industry is when I will be happy, it won't be easy, but it will be done. 

DD: What are you most looking forward to next?
Jordan Jarrett-Bryan: The reaction to the Paralympics. I really hope first and foremost Team GB clean up and do this, but equally excited to see the responses from people. Did they rate it as a high level competition? Did they enjoy the games? Did they enjoy the Channel 4 coverage? Would they watch the top five disability sports on primetime TV in 2013? Also, I'm hoping to continue working in sports TV or radio so I really want to smash it at the Games itself.

Click HERE to find out more about the Casio G-Shock 30th Anniversary Awards. G Shock and Dazed also present a special £5,000 "Spirit of Toughness" award, recognising an extraordinary emerging talent making a mark despite significant obstacles.

If someone has impressed you with their perseverance and determination then let us know – we will shortlist the best and the voting public will pick the recipient of the £5,000 award.

Photo by Leigh Johnson

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