OLYMPIC prospect Matt Jump has returned from Team GB’s training camp in Spain fully recovered from a horror back injury.
The 23-year-old canoeing star from Winnington, speaking exclusively to the Chronicle, was close to being paralysed after he slipped three discs but thanks to specialist treatment and rehabilitation, he is on the water and targeting the London 2012 Games.
Jump, who now lives in Nottingham within walking distance of the National Watersports Centre, is back from a three-week intensive training camp in Seville where he was joined by 32 other elite squad members.
He said: “Everything has gone very well. After the injury things were slowing down but Seville has sorted me out.
“The training camp was intense, you’re just training and training. You can concentrate solely on what you are doing, nothing else gets in the way.”
Former Hartford High pupil Matt is now hoping to impress selectors at this weekend’s National Regatta at Nottingham, which doubles up as GB trials.
If he is selected for the squad then he will compete at the International Regatta at Boulogne, France, followed by the World Cup in Poznan, Poland.
Selection for the GB squad will mark a remarkable comeback as, following Jump’s injury sustained during an accident in the gym, he was warned that he may not be able to walk again, let alone be an international athlete.
Matt said: “When I injured my back it was so serious that I was thinking about my life rather than canoeing. Doctors were questioning whether I could be able to walk properly again.
“Another false move or coming back to train too early, it could have resulted in me being paralysed.
“Strength and fitness have suffered a bit and I am not as fast as I was last year but you have just got to get your head down and get on with it.
“This weekend is perhaps the biggest of my career.”
Matt is now looking for local support from Northwich and Mid Cheshire as he needs to raise more than £2,000 for a new world class training boat.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Olympic hopeful Matt then contact the Chronicle on 01244 606413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward the details.