Sponsored skydive update

As many of you were aware, some of our team were scheduled to take part in a sponsored skydive on Thursday 6 June in order to raise funds for our new facility in Camberley. Due to take part in the skydive was Chris Bowler (Director), Carina Brown (Health, Safety & Welfare Manager), Josie Rice (Additional Needs Coordinator) and Lloyd Martin, a member of Prime Acrobatics who earned a gold medal at the British Disability Championships last year. 

Lloyd has been a member of Prime for over three years and trains as part of our successful additional needs programme. Lloyd is an absolute pleasure to have in the gym, he loves performing and has taken part in several community events, displays and competitions. In April this year Lloyd earned a Guinness World Record by becoming the youngest person with Down Syndrome to complete the London Marathon, aged 19. Lloyd’s success was celebrated by everyone at Prime and we were thrilled to see so many members of the public also celebrate Lloyd’s achievement through media coverage. Lloyd was invited to join our fundraising efforts and take part in our sponsored skydive. Josie is Lloyd’s personal coach and the two of them had been looking forward to 6 June for several weeks.

After checking in at the jump site and going through initial briefing, the group was informed that Lloyd would not be able to jump due to safety reasons related to having Down Syndrome. This came as a shock to our staff and Lloyd as we believed we had completed every step asked of us to ensure Lloyd’s safety. Our Health, Safety & Welfare Manager Carina had received verbal confirmation from the organisers that a person with Down Syndrome would be allowed to jump and careful inspection of the company’s terms and conditions only confirmed this for us. Additionally, Lloyd’s mother had received medical approval from Lloyd’s doctor to take part and the necessary paperwork had been completed. We were very careful to take steps to ensure we were confident Lloyd would be able to take part before inviting him. We would never want to build his hopes up, only to be disappointed.

Even with the required paperwork in place, the ground team made the decision that Lloyd would not be allowed to jump. The rest of the Prime team made the difficult decision not to jump as they had always planned to jump as a team and nobody wanted to leave Lloyd behind.

We are very saddened by this. It is not something we anticipated happening. The skydive was part of our fundraising efforts to complete our new facility in Camberley. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has sponsored the event and helped us raise funds. We are looking at ways in which we can hopefully move forward with this skydive together in the near future. We will keep our members updated.