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60 Stories - Andrew MacIntyre

Plucky 26-year-old Andrew MacIntyre has no problem speaking out in front of large audiences.
 
In 2012, Andrew addressed ENABLE Scotland’s AGM, talking about his life and experiences.
 
Last year, he stood up in front of a 600-strong crowd at the launch of the Scottish Government’s new strategy on disability, ‘The Keys to Life,’ at Murrayfield Stadium.
 
“I don’t get nervous when I do my talks,” said Andrew, who has Down’s syndrome.
 
He passionately believes it is crucial that people understand what life is like for him and he likes to try to dispel myths about learning disabilities.
 
Andrew has spoken at museums, libraries and even at his birthplace, Yorkhill Hospital. 
  
Andrew’s skills are not restricted to public speaking. He is also a talented gymnast who has won medals in the Special Olympics in Glasgow in 2005 and again in 2009 in Leicester.
 
Andrew became an enthusiastic gymnast at the age of 12 and it quickly became apparent he had a talent for the sport. 
 
He was asked to compete in a competition within his first year of learning gymnastics and soon earned his first of a clutch of medals. He also volunteers as a gymnastics coach for young people with disabilities.
 
“I coach children on Saturday afternoons and enjoy seeing them getting better and better,” said Andrew. 
 
In 2012, Andrew was selected to carry the Olympic torch through Kilmaurs in Ayrshire, in recognition of his hard work and sporting achievements.
 
Nominated by his mum Fiona, it was a proud moment for Andrew and all his family although getting the official uniform Andrew had to wear to carry the torch proved a bit of a challenge.
 
“My whole family and everyone from my day centre came to watch me. I was really excited,” he said
His gymnastics training occupies three days a week, yet he still finds time to volunteer with Down’s syndrome Scotland where he is a part-time paid trainer.
 
He previously worked on two- year initiative the ‘Training Project’ where he spoke about his life in schools and hospitals. 
 
Andrew is currently working on the ‘Making Your Way Through Life’ project which is aimed at young adults with Down’s syndrome.
 
Three years ago, Down’s syndrome Scotland nominated Andrew for an award at the Scottish Charity Awards.  Although he didn’t win the‘Charity Champion’ category, the judges were so impressed by his work that they awarded him a special commendation.
 
When his day centre, West Lane Gardens, and sister centre, Whitehaugh, were threatened with closure, Andrew didn’t hesitate to get involved in the successful campaign to save them.
In his leisure time, Andrew loves going to the theatre and has even made a brief appearance on television as an ‘extra’ in River City. 
 
Andrew continues to help people with disabilities and still competes in gymnastic competitions.
Looking ahead, he said: “I would like to continue what I normally do and one day have a flat of my own.”

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