A boy who suffers from a brain condition but “doesn’t let anything get him down” has been nominated for an award.
Connor McConnachie, who is six years old, was born with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) and developed epilepsy because of this.
He has been nominated in the Inspiration category of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards due to his great resilience and effort despite his condition.
Connor started kickboxing when he was three and received his junior black belt in May.
Previously Connor hadn’t been allowed to compete in contact competitions, but he has recently received medical clearance from doctors allowing him to do what he has wanted to do for so long.
“He has always liked the idea and started doing taekwondo when he was three,” said his mother, Charlene McConnachie.
“When I heard a local club (Endurance Kickboxing) did kickboxing classes for three-year-olds, I joined him up.
“His goal is to take part in competitions and compete against other people as he has just been medically cleared to compete after almost four months of debate with his neurologist.”
One day during a kickboxing class, Connor took a seizure due to his epilepsy, but afterwards he still managed to power on through the class.
Charlene said: “One minute he was on my knee having this seizure and the next he was back jumping around and saying he didn’t want to go home or rest he just wanted to get straight back into it.
“I asked the coach if that was OK and he said if that’s what Connor wanted to do then he was fine with it.”
Connor doesn’t shy away from his FCD and lets people know he’s no different to them and should be treated that way.
“He doesn’t let anything get him down. He doesn’t hide his condition and tells people about it. He says ‘I’m still just me, I’m just Connor’.
“In class he learns about biology and he stands up in front of the class and talks about his condition.”
Connor’s story has inspired everyone who knows him and his family hope people hearing the details will encourage other people with similar conditions to get into sports and other activities they might otherwise be frightened to take part in.
“I feel he is a real inspiration to everyone around him,” Charlene said.
“We (his family) have obviously seen him at his worst, but he never lets it keep him down, he just bounces back up and gets on with it.
“I definitely hope he inspires others (with similar conditions) to get into sport – kickboxing might not be for everyone, but even if it inspires them to try something else that’s really good.”
Connor, from Summerhill, and his family want to raise awareness for epilepsy and epilepsy first aid and have created a Facebook page to that effect.
“He loves to raise awareness for epilepsy and first aid,” Charlene said.
“We started a Facebook page called Connor Rocks where we post updates of Connor’s condition and videos of what to do if you ever see someone having an epileptic fit.”
The Sports Awards will be held at P&J Live on Thursday October 3.
To nominate an individual or club, visit aberdeens sportsawards.co.uk