World Champion Welsh Hurdler Dai Greene took a break from his Olympic training to meet and talk with 7 year old Owain Richards who has epilepsy. Greene, who has epilepsy himself, credits his determination to excel at his sport as the catalyst for
changing his lifestyle and thereby the seizures he was experiencing as a young
17/18 year old.
When Owain was diagnosed with epilepsy, his father, Ceri, was amazed at the lack of awareness surrounding a condition – which affects over 23,000 people in Wales
– and so decided to organise a fun-walk along the Taff Trail to raise money and
also the profile of Epilepsy services. The walk raised over £6,600 for Epilepsy Wales and Greene was only too happy to make the presentation to Lesley Morris, coordinator for the charity who commented, “It is with the help of high profile people like Dai Greene, who is not embarrassed to talk about his epilepsy, that we will begin to raise the
awareness of such a common condition, and to show that it is not something to
be discriminated against.”
Greene is not the only top sportsman to have had epilepsy – Tom Smith, the former Scottish and British Lions prop, the South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes and the fastest woman in the world – Florence Griffith Joyner, Flo-Jo, are amongst the headliners of the sports world to have had epilepsy but who never let it stand in the way of their ambitions.