The London Paralympic Games to be held next week are set to inspire, amaze and challenge the assumptions of the world, transforming the role models of Britain’s youngsters from reality TV stars to hard-working and dedicated athletes. And even outside of the sporting field, the limelight of the Games is set to fall on the stars of our nation who can motivate the next generation with their deserved successes.
For York, one of these figures of inspiration, who will lead the Paralympic lantern as it illuminates our city this Friday, will be local serial entrepreneur Dom Smith whose achievements in pioneering Soundsphere magazine in York have earned him a rightful place in our Paralympic parade. Dom, who has cerebral palsy, will take on this honoured role after a year of great professional successes including being shortlisted for the National Diversity Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence in the disability category.
As well as working on Soundsphere, the music, fashion and arts magazine he pioneered in 2008 based in the Science City York venue the Phoenix Centre, Dom is also co-founder of Disabled Entrepreneurs, a network for start-up business people with disabilities. It was thanks to this insatiable drive and achievement of Dom that he was successfully nominated for his part in the Paralympic procession by Science City York Innovation Manager Heather.
Dom, along with Heather Niven of SCY and Jade Aitken of City of York Council, will now be greeting the Paralympic lantern as it arrives at the Royal York Hotel all the way from London where it is to be set alight on the morning of 24 August. The Paralympic fire trio will then board one of York’s famed open-top buses to tour around the city before hitting the road on their adapted bikes to cycle to Energise on Cornland’s Road. Here, they will join in the revels at Celebrating Ability Day which accessible sport for disabled people.
Dom said, “It’s an absolute honour and a privilege for me to be nominated to travel with the flame for York’s Celebrating Ability day. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and I feel very lucky! Thank you! I hope to see loads of people there!”
Heather, his nominator, said, “I am delighted that Dom has been invited to take part in the celebrations on the 24th. His enthusiasm and ‘can-do’ attitude is an inspiration to many in the city and beyond. It is great to see his hard work and inspiring nature being recognised by the city at this prestigious event.”
To find out more about Dom’s work within the York community, check out One&Other’s interview with the man himself here.