[Gary] Hi I’m Gary Clarke. I’m the UK’s first Disabled Strongman and on September 5th we are bringing it back to Chard. Actually when I was 24 I think back in 2001, I actually started bench press competitions for Great Britain. I’m in the neuro class which is for people with neurological disabilities, I’ve got cerebral palsy. I think the most I’ve lifted on the seated deadlift is 275 kilos.

[Jenna] So obviously you work for United Response as well, do you mind telling me a little bit about that?

[Gary] I’m a Support Worker in the Ilminster service in the South West so I’ve been there since in actual fact, it ties in quite well because I had my interview in 2011 and then two weeks later I went off to Iceland for the first World’s Strongest Disabled Man that I competed in so I’ve been competing the same time as I’ve been working for United Response.

[Jenna] Was there anybody you saw on telly or anything that inspired you?

[Gary] Yeah well Magnús Ver Magnússon the four times World’s Strongest Man is actually behind Disabled Strongman with Arnar Már Jónsson, his friend. Well Arnar started it up first and then Magnus came along to help him out later and it’s grown from there really and like I said the British Championship has been going since 2015. I mean Arnar calls me the UK ambassador and I’m very touched by that.

[Gary] Strongman makes me feel like I can accomplish anything at times and it’s always a challenge it keeps you focused and it keeps you moving forward. People don’t take you seriously there’s so many stereotypes with disability, it’s untrue but hopefully me and people like me banish a lot of those stereotypes.

[Jenna] What would your message be for a younger person with a disability who wanted to get into this sort of thing?

[Gary] Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something, because you can. You just have to believe in yourself and go forward and do it because there will always be people that tell you ’Oh he can’t do that, he’s got a disability’ and we’re a testament to say that’s rubbish really.