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Former Rydal Student Success at Invictus Games
23rd May 2016

A former Rydal Penrhos pupil and Armed Forces veteran bounced back from a horror crash to claim a swimming medal at the Invictus Games.

Flt Lt Nathan Jones, who left the school in 2001, is part of the Great Britain side competing at the games, which is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports.

After suffering a dramatic final corner clash when leading the cycling event, Nathan went straight from his hospital bed to the pool, where he heroically achieved a bronze medal in the 50m backstroke for his efforts.

The Colwyn Bay resident, said: “It feels great to get a medal, 48 hours ago I was on a spinal board in hospital so I am pretty pleased.

“I was in pole position in the cycling and I felt like I had a good sprint in me, but unfortunately I took the wrong line and crashed into a barrier.

“My back is pretty sore but I always felt that the backstroke was going to be my strongest event so I am delighted to get a medal.”

The former international skier and rugby player was involved in a flying accident while serving as a Royal Force Air Force pilot at Camp Bastion, which resulted in a broken back.

After extensive rehabilitation, Flt Jones has been left with nerve damage and partial paralysis of his calves.

Although he is now unable to take part in his specialised sports of rugby and skiing due to their high impact nature, the son of ex-Rydal Penrhos teacher Ken won a series of competitive skiing titles after competing for six months following the injury.

The former pilot is currently still in full time rehabilitation in the hope of returning to the front line in the future.

Acting head Roger McDuff, said: “We are thrilled with Nathan’s achievement and everyone at Rydal Penrhos is immensely proud of him.

“To recover from such a crash in a matter of days shows tremendous courage and dedication, two things he has in abundance.”

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