26th July 2016 14:27pm
Charlton Upbeat Billy Birchmore has returned from the Trisome Games (Olympic Games for Down’s syndrome) with an incredible 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals in the pool.
Representing Team GB Down’s Syndrome Swimming, Billy had the honour of being both the captain and flag bearer at the first ever Trisome Games that took part between the 15th-22ndJuly in Florence, Italy.
Living up to his expectation, Billy shone at the inaugural event, winning gold and breaking a world record in the 200m freestyle, gold in the 100m backstroke, and 2 further gold’s in the 50m and 100m free, making him the fastest Down’s syndrome swimmer in the world.
The medals didn’t stop there, with Billy also taking silver in the 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke and 200m individual medley, followed by bronze in the 200m backstroke, 100m medley relay and 50m freestyle relay. This then accumulated to Billy taking out the overall ‘Top Swimmer’ award for winning the most points in the pool.
Billy has been part of The Upbeats, Charlton’s Down’s syndrome football team, for the last 6 years, receiving weekly football training at the CAFC Training Ground at Sparrows Lane. He has since started to learn more life skills, gaining work experience 1 day at week at Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) under head of disability and mental health Carl Krauhaus.
A proud mum Jackie Birchmore talked about Billy’s development being part of both The Upbeats and work experience programmes at CACT.
“Billy has been involved with The Upbeats for several years now and his individual football skills and working as part of a team have improved immensely”, she said.
“He thoroughly enjoys meeting up with all the team members and the dedicated coaches.
“Billy is going into his second year of a work placement at CACT as part of his course at Bromley College and he absolutely loves Friday’s when he says he is going to “work”.
“He tells us each week the jobs he has done and have seen his independence and confidence progress throughout the past year. This is enabling Billy to have a taste of a working environment – thanks to Charlton”.