A Staines boy is lending his support to National Eye Health Week (21-27 September) after securing a place to represent Great Britain in the European Championships Acrobatic Gymnastics.
Encouraging other young sports stars
Twelve-year-old Finlay Gray from Staines, who was fitted with contact lenses at Specsavers in the town, says his career as a gymnast would not have reached such dizzying heights had he not started wearing contact lenses, and is encouraging other young sports stars to consider lenses too.
Finlay said: ‘I need a very strong prescription to correct my sight, but when I first started competing I found that wearing glasses just didn’t work for me. My mum decided to take me to Specsavers in Staines where I was fitted with contact lenses, and I know for certain that without them, I wouldn’t have come this far.
‘As I compete in the men’s pairs category, I rely heavily on my sight to know exactly where my partner is. Before I had my lenses fitted, everything was a bit of a blur and mistakes were made. Now though, I can see perfectly and the transformation has been incredible.'
Raising awareness during National Eye Health Week
Earlier this summer, Finlay and his partner Frazer won a gold medal at the British Acrobatic Championships. He continued: ‘I know first-hand that wearing glasses when competing in sport just isn’t practical, so I’m encouraging other young athletes to consider contact lenses in the future.’
Helen Belkhodja, store director at Specsavers in Staines said: ‘Finlay’s sight is obviously crucial to help him compete to the best of his ability, and it’s incredible to see just how far he’s come since we first fitted him with contact lenses.
‘Wearing lenses for the first time can be a daunting prospect, particularly for younger people, so that’s why we always make the process as smooth as possible.
‘It’s great to see Finlay lend his support to National Eye Health Week, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of regular sight checks. He is a great advocate for other young athletes, so I’d encourage any young competitor to consider having contact lenses fitted. Who knows, they could go on to become a British Champion like Finlay.’
Representing Great Britain
Along with his partner Frazer Windows, Finlay fought off fierce competition to win a place representing Great Britain in the men’s pairs 12-18 age category at the European Championships Acrobatic Gymnastics in Germany later this month.