HI UK's Executive Director Aleema Shivji has welcomed new Ambassadors Jack Hunter-Spivey and Ross Wilson to Team HI:
“At Humanity & Inclusion we are very honoured and thrilled to welcome Jack and Ross as our new Ambassadors. There is no question that they will be amazing advocates for the rights of all the people with disabilities we are supporting everyday worldwide and will help us ensure that no one is left behind.”
Originally from Liverpool, Jack was born with cerebral palsy and was blind and deaf until he was nine months old. He discovered his passion for table tennis at an early age and was invited to his first GB Development camp at the age of 11. He has been part of the Performance squad since 2011. Jack is the only player ever to win the Junior, Senior and Open British titles in the same year and competes in able bodied table tennis at county level as well as competing with the GB Para team. Just last week Jack won gold and a bronze medal at the Italian Open.
A star player and a powerful advocate for inclusion Jack says:
“The overwhelming majority of people with disabilities around the world live in developing countries and it’s something we don’t think about enough. In places affected by conflict and natural disaster Humanity & Inclusion are often the only organisation focussing their work to support people with disabilities. This is one of the reasons why I’m so proud to be an Ambassador.”
Current World Champion Ross first played table tennis while on holiday at Center Parcs and showed an immediate talent for the game. His natural skill brought him success in able bodied table tennis and as a junior he was ranked in the top ten in the country, winning two National doubles titles.
When asked about his new role as an ambassador for HI, Ross said:
“I’m really excited to help spread the word about Humanity & Inclusion’s amazing teams of physiotherapists, prosthetic specialists, deminers and many others. Too few people around the world are able to access vital support. I know that HI prioritises the most vulnerable whether that’s in the aftermath of an earthquake, a country where unexploded bombs still litter the ground or in places where there are so many barriers for people with disabilities accessing health or education services.”
In 2011, Ross was diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, which affects the growing ends of the bones. Soon after the diagnosis Ross started training with the GB Paralympic team. In October 2018, Ross achieved his dream of becoming World Champion, beating the double Paralympic champion from China, Zhao Shuai, in the final of men’s class 8 to take the gold.
The road to Tokyo
Both Jack and Ross support a number of amazing organisations. In August Jack will be one of the celebrity Team Captains at the fantastic Superhero Tri sport series in Windsor where HI will also have a team of awesome fundraisers.
In 2019, much of the focus will be on qualifying for Team GB at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.