Guest post written by Robert Maxwell.
Few older brothers are fortunate enough to experience the thrill of watching their younger sibling become a nationally and internationally ranked athlete. Fewer still live in a place as remote as Manitoulin Island. My 15-year-old brother, Joseph is one of those rare sort who’s made both true in my case. That’s one reason I’m so proud of him.
For the last couple years, I’ve watched Joe combine relentless training, diligent study, and unbending determination to set national records in both shot put and discus, and become Canada’s undisputed under-16 champion in both events. That’s enough to make any big brother proud, but Joe didn’t stop there. He went on to win the Jack Stenhouse Award for the best male athlete at the Canadian Championships in August, 2013. All amazing achievements to be sure, but it’s not Joe’s triumphs alone that make me feel so honoured to be his brother.
Mostly, it’s his continued humility and gratitude to his wonderful family and friends on Manitoulin Island and beyond, who have given him so much support over the years. Athletes like Joseph don’t succeed by accident. Sure, it takes loads of hard work to reach the top of their game, but I have no doubt it has at least as much to do with the people around them. If not for our super helpful and supportive parents, and a community who cheered him on with every step, I’m sure Joseph wouldn’t be where he is today. That’s one reason he’s now taking steps to share his athletic knowledge with others.
At 15, Joseph already has his own website, dedicated to keeping his growing list of followers up-to-date on his athletic endeavours. Even more remarkable, he’s written a video-enriched eBook designed to help other young throwers succeed in the same way he has. You can check it out for yourself at www.josephmaxwellthrowing.com/spintowin
So, what does all this have to do with life on Manitoulin? Lots. As a born and bred islander, I really want to see this place thrive. And thriving isn’t just about having nice beaches, forest trails, and bed and breakfasts. It’s about the rare, exceptional people who call this island home, and enrich it by choosing to live and achieve here. I’m proud to count my brother among them.
You can follow Joseph’s latest activities on his official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/josephmaxwellthrowing. Sign up for his email newsletter in the top right corner of his website, www.josephmaxwellthrowing.com, for indepth updates.