A national petition calling for broadcasters to show more disabled sport to inspire the next generation of athletes has reached nearly 300 signatures.
Simeon Wakely, from Timsbury, near Bath, set up with the petition with his friend James Ireland, from Essex, after last year’s Olympics.
The pair have been campaigning on the issue with the support of the charity Fixers – set up to give a voice to young people aged 16 to 25.
With the help of Fixers, they have created a film about their campaign, which was shown on ITV West Country, ITV London, ITV Meridian and ITV Anglia last month.
Simeon, a former Bath College student, has Spina Bifida, a condition which stops the spine developing as it should, and needs a wheelchair to get around.
His sporting achievements include playing and coaching for the wheelchair basketball team South West Scorpions and carrying the Olympic torch through Bath in 2012.
He said: “I want to see equal opportunities for disabled people and that’s what motivates me to do campaigns like this. More disability sports shown on TV means that there are more opportunities for people to participate in disabled sport.
“As someone who has done sports for the last eight years, I know that being in a team and being around people who understand what you’re going through is very important.”
Part of Simeon and James’s film was filmed at Bath College last summer, and it also featured British Paralympic athlete Sophie Kamlish.
This month, Simeon visited the college to show the final piece to media students and the students’ union team, who gave some feedback.
Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins said: “I thought the film was really great. I think it’s really good to be pushing for more disability sports on TV – not just wheelchair basketball but all disability sports.”
Sophie, who studied art foundation at Bath College in 2015, came fourth in the T44 100m at last year’s Rio Paralympics.
She said: “It’s very important that people who are disabled see themselves represented on television, especially in sport, showing that we are strong and can do pretty much anything that a non-disabled person can do.”
Simeon, 20, said: “Disability is a label, but it’s not who you are. It shouldn’t define you as a person.
“It’s very important to make sure people understand. Just because we have a disability, it doesn’t mean that we’re not human.”
To sign Simeon and James’s petition click here. To find out more about the work Simeon is doing with local employers and schools click here.