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Fast-growing digital transformation consultancy Gravity 9 is sponsoring a computer programmer who is set to be the first Nigerian rower to compete at the Paralympic Games.

Kingsley Ijomah, 37, who is currently training to compete at the rowing regatta at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, joined the Birmingham-based firm as a Senior Software Engineer in September 2019.

Born in Nigeria as the youngest of 24 siblings, Kingsley was diagnosed with Polio at the age of nine months, leaving him paralysed in both legs. After spending each day practising, he eventually achieved his goal of standing unaided and then walking with the help of callipers and later crutches.

“It was at this point that I realised that there were so many things that I could do in life, and that anything was possible,” he explains.

kingsley Ijomah paralympic

Kingsley’s family later relocated to the UK, where he developed his interests in both computer programming and rowing. In 2018, he competed for Team GB in the World Rowing Championships, in which he placed 12th.

Following this, Kingsley was approached by the Nigeria Paralympic Committee to row on the country’s behalf in Tokyo.

Related: Tokyo 2020: Olympic Games Organisers Agree Postponement

“Competing at the Paralympics had just been a dream of mine,” he continues, “and by being the first Nigerian rower to compete at the Paralympics, I recognise the power I have to bring about change in the sport for disabled and ethnic minority competitors.

“As an employer, Gravity 9 have been super and are a perfect fit because they show the same willingness to succeed and be the best that they possibly can that I do as an athlete.”

Andy Ross, Co-founder of Gravity 9, said: “We are incredibly proud to have Kingsley on the team, not least because his passion for and commitment to both his sport and his work align with our values as a business. We are dedicated to supporting him every step of the way on his journey to Tokyo 2021, and will be cheering him on when the Games arrive!

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