Student with cerebral palsy runs in final track-and-field meet

The 13-year-old will be starting high school in September.

Brody Daigneau, a grade 8 student from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Elementary School, ran the 800-metre event at the school’s track-and-field event Wednesday. Daigneau was born with cerebral palsy, but has participated in the track meet throughout most of his years at the school. Arms Bumanlag CBC

Sanjay Maru with files from Arms Bumanlag, CBC News Windsor June 06, 2018

He may need a walker — but that isn’t stopping him from running after his dreams.

Brody Daigneau, an eight grade student at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Elementary School, has been participating in the school’s annual track and field meets since the third grade.

He’s moving on to high school in September, meaning this race was his last at St. John.

Brody Daigneau sometimes uses a three-wheel mobility scooter to get around. Arms Bumanlag CBC

Running with the rest

The 13-year-old’s appearance on the track has been a staple of the track meet for the past five years. In fact, there are hundreds of kids in the stands who cheer Daigneau on as he crosses the finish line — and that was no different this year.

“It’s a little bit more difficult with my walker. I [have] to hold on to it, so I can’t use my arms much. But I’ve just learned how to pace myself and to know my limits and what I can do and what I can’t do,” Daigneau said.

Daigneau said he looks at his physical disability not as something that holds him back, but as a motivator.

“I really like to compete, so winning is important to me despite my disability. I like to win and I like to compete.”

Ken Daigneau said seeing his son run in the 800-metre event brings tears to his eyes. Arms Bumanlag CBC

Making his father proud

Ken Daigneau, Brody’s father, is “very, very proud.” He said seeing him run brings a tear to his eye every year.

“We’ve showed him that there’s nothing really easy in life … whether it’s getting out of bed or walking across the floor, that’s hard work for him. So when it comes to [running], this stuff’s fun,” he said.

Brody’s father ran in track-and-field events as a kid himself. He said it was easy to pass on that same competitive mindset to his son.

“He’s got the drive. We just give him ideas and he runs with it.”

Watch Brody Daigneau participate in his final track and field meet at St. John:

Looking ahead

In September, Daigneau is moving on to Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School — where he will join the sledge hockey academy.

But that doesn’t mean his participation in track and field events is over.

Daigneau said he will continue to run competitively in high school.

Source CBC News Windsor

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