The Heart of a Champion

We love sharing stories of how SBANCA members are overcoming the challenges of living with spina bifida! This month, Derry Hill talks about his experience at a recent Jiu Jitsu competition in New York City.

I recently had the pleasure of competing at my first Jui Jitsu tournament in New York. I was super anxious about how I would do since I’ve only been training for about four months. I am incredibly happy to say that I received two bronze and two gold medals in both the Gi and No-Gi categories. I was also honored to receive the Ian Matuszak Heart of a Champion Award, which is given to an athlete “for embodying the true spirit of competition for people with all abilities.” It was a huge surprise to me, and the experience of being able to roll against others with disabilities like me was something truly amazing. The people involved with Grapplers Heart put on an incredible tournament and I can’t wait for the next one!

I want to say thank you to all the guys at the gym that have kicked my tail every day since I’ve started training. You all are the reason I was able to go out and give it everything I have. Can’t wait to be back in the gym grinding it out.