The Mittagong Joey Scouts were visited by Paralympian and world record holder, James Turner on October 17.
Turner competed at the Paralympics in Rio the T36 800m run. He completed the race with a world record time of 2:02.29.
The 20-year-old, who has cerebral palsy made a surprise visit to the scouts after they developed a relationship with him in the lead up to the Paralympics.
Prior to his race, the young scouts sent James letters and drawings which encouraged him to do his best in the race.
As part of their badge work, the joeys’ needed to complete a good community deed.
Joey scout leader Jenni Rees said the scouts decided that sending letters to Turner would be their good deed.
“They made a big card for him and drew him pictures. They each wrote a sentence that wished him luck and let him know they were all thinking about him,” she said.
After Turner won the gold medal, he decided that he wanted to meet the young scouts who had given him so much support.
The scout leaders organised for the world record holder to visit the scouts at their meeting on Monday night.
Turner talked with the scouts about his achievements at the Paralympics.
“We let the kids ask him all the questions. They asked him when he started running and how he trained. We had a few little kids that decided they would like to be runners afterward,” Rees said.
Rees said the meeting was held to show the kids that they could do anything.
"James had a go, and that’s what scouts is all about. We try and teach the kids to do their best and have a go, James showed the kids that they can do that,” she said.
The evening with Turner also included a little bit of building.
“The NSW Joey Scout Commissioner set a challenge for the scouts to build a lego tower at least 25cm high. James helped the kids with the towers and they all had a ball,” Rees said.
At the end of the evening Turner was ‘scarfed up’ and made an honorary joey scout.
“The kids were really excited to have him there and it was fantastic that he came and met them, they were thrilled,” Rees said.
Joey scouts is the first section of scouts, for boys and girls aged 6-7.5.
The emphasis is on fun and friendship and a gentle introduction to a world of challenges and adventures through scouting. A trained Joey Scout Leader guides a Joey Mob of up to 20 boys and girls as they learn to share and care for each other in a social environment.
For more information about the joey scouts, or to join contact 0428 147 077.