Triathlete with Down Syndrome trailblazer
2012. Jade Kingdom
Jade Kingdom, from Devon, is a Guinness World Record holder for being the first woman with Down Syndrome to complete a sprint triathlon, and has raised over £30,000 for 'North Devon Hospice' through regular sponsored triathlon challenges.
Despite facing multiple medical issues associated with her Down Syndrome, Jade wanted to take on triathlons / endurance challenges, not only to prove to herself what she is capable of, but to encourage other people with the condition or other disabilities to take part in physical activities.
In 2021, Jade participated in the London triathlon, leading to her getting a Guinness world record for her time and has since completed multiple further challenges. In August, she is aiming to complete an Olympic distance triathlon, which will be the longest distance Jade has completed.
All of the challenges and fundraisers Jade has completed so far have been to raise money for the ‘North Devon Hospice’ that provides free care and support to individuals and their loved ones who are faced with the impact of a life-threatening illness. Every day they help over 100 people, either in their own homes or at Deer Park, completely free of charge.
In a personal letter to Jade, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I am delighted to be able to recognise your extraordinary achievements becoming the first woman with Down Syndrome to complete a sprint triathlon and raising thousands of pounds for ‘North Devon Hospice’.
“The courage and strength with which you have completed numerous endurance challenges is not only raising money for a great cause but also inspiring others to take part in their own physical activities.
“I wish you every success with your Olympic distance triathlon in August.”
Selaine Saxby, Jade’s local MP, said:
“Jade has raised a huge sum of money for our much loved North Devon Hospice through her triathlons, which are hard enough, without being the first woman with Down Syndrome to complete a sprint one, and overcoming her own medical challenges to do so – such an incredible sporting and fund raising achievement. Well done Jade!”
Stephen Roberts, Chief Executive of North Devon Hospice, said:
“We care for people as they face life-limiting illnesses like cancer, but this is only possible thanks to the support of our community, so Jade really is a beacon of light for the patients and families in our care. The funds she’s raised have helped to wrap people up in the warm embrace of the hospice, at a time when it is needed the most. By raising such an amazing amount, she’s helped people face their final days in comfort and dignity. But on top of that, Jade has inspired people around the world with her incredible dedication. Jade doesn’t let disability get in the way of her achieving anything and we are all so proud of her. She thoroughly deserves this award. A true hospice hero!”
“I’m really shocked but very excited to get an award for all my fundraising and on World Down Syndrome day too.”
See more about ‘North Devon Hospice’