Alex Hyndman with students from W J Baird Public School in Blenheim on November 26, 2019 (Photo by Allanah Wills)

Paralympic hopeful honoured at former school

A Morpeth man competing for a spot in the 2020 Paralympic games is getting a homecoming from his former school.

Alex Hyndman was honoured at W.J. Baird Public School in Blenheim on Tuesday morning. The 29-year-old was left paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident in 2010. Several months after the accident, he took up hand cycling and has since made a name for himself in the sport.

Hyndman placed third at the 2018 Para-Cycling World Championships in Italy and is now vying for a spot to represent Canada in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in August in the men’s H3 category for individual time trial para-cycling.

Hyndman was recently the recipient of a $5,000 Fuelling Athlete and Coaching Excellence grant from Petro-Canada to help fund his path to the Paralympic Games and was chosen for the grant because of the inspiration he’s showcased.

 

Although his story of facing adversity has been encouraging for many, he said he just did what he had to do in order to overcome the obstacle that life handed him.

“It’s kind of hard for me because I don’t really look at my life as inspiring. It’s just me doing what I needed to do to get through. it is always nice to hear from people who say they got inspired by the story and they changed their life for the better because of it.”

On Tuesday, Hyndman shared his story with dozens of students and was presented with a plaque that will be a permanent fixture at W.J. Baird, celebrating the success of the former student.

“It feels really good. It’s super weird coming back to the old school. It’s been almost 15 years since I’ve gone here, everything looks a little smaller and a little different than it did back then.”

Since starting his cycling career, Hyndman said the support that he’s gotten from the community has been incredible.

“It’s been unreal. Being from small-town Blenheim everyone knows each other, it’s like a family. Everyone’s been super supportive.”

Hyndman will be frequently travelling and training over the next couple of months and will find out in June if he made it into the Paralympics.