Teen who ran London Marathon told he can't skydive 'due to Down’s syndrome'

A teenager who ran the London Marathon was told he would not be allowed to take part in a charity skydive "due to having Down's syndrome".

Lloyd Martin, 19, was taking part in the challenge to raise money for his gymnastics club's new training centre.

The teen set a world record at this year's London Marathon, when he became the youngest person with Down's syndrome to complete a marathon.

Lloyd's mum, Ceri Hooper, 54, told Sky News the skydive provider had not informed her that her son could not take part before they arrived at the site in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

"After we'd got through the briefing and checked in and everything, they then said 'No, he's got Down's syndrome, he can't jump'," Mrs Hooper, originally from Cardiff, said.

"Tell us at the point of booking, don't let us all take days off and drive for an hour and a half to get there and then tell us when he's disappointed."

'Really excited'

Lloyd was "upset because he was really excited to be doing this", according to his mother.

"Throughout Lloyd's life, we've...had various doors closed in our faces regarding different clubs and activities," Mrs Hooper added.

"But while he was young, it was me that was taking the brunt of that, he wasn't really aware of it."

Mrs Hooper said she was disappointed this had happened at a time when she thought companies were becoming "more inclusive in their policies".

"I just wish companies would learn from it and be more mindful and educate their staff."

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Her son becoming the youngest person with Down's syndrome to complete a marathon earlier this year was an "unbelievably proud" moment for Mrs Hooper.

"We weren't sure when we embarked upon his training that he would ever get that far," she said.

"So it just proves that with a bit of training, things can be achieved, which is the message we want to put out there really."

A spokesperson for GoSkydive said they "understand the frustrations of Lloyd's family" but their "commitment is to Lloyd's wellbeing".

"We want the opportunity to get to know Lloyd, his conditions and what he needs from us before we can take him skydiving," they added.

"There is no doubt that we could have better communicated the requirement for Lloyd to be assessed prior to his visit to GoSkydive, for this we are extremely apologetic.

"We continue to learn and improve our interactions and this instance drives direct change in our policies."