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27609-Ruben Persoons photo

Ruben Persoons

Athletics

Biography

Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T37

Further personal information

Family
Partner Livia De Clercq
Residence
Lede, BEL
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Dutch, English, French
Higher education
Communications - Artevelde University College: Ghent, BEL

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport at age 25 at the Vlierzele Sportief club in Lede, Belgium.
Why this sport?
He contacted Parantee VZW, a sports federation for people with an impairment in Flanders, Belgium, and asked them to help him find a sport. "I had always been active in sports. I was a [football] goalkeeper before [the accident]. After my car crash I experienced insomnia. I started working on my fitness, but it didn't help with sleeping. Besides football, I had felt something for athletics, especially long jump. After my first training session, I had achieved my goal. My insomnia was over."
Club / Team
Vlierzele Sportief: Lede, BEL
Name of coach
Mieke Van Thuyne [personal]

International debut

Year
2018
Competing for
Belgium
Tournament
European Championships
Location
Berlin, GER

General interest

Hobbies
Spending time with family. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Most influential person in career
Coach Mieke van Thuyne, and his partner Livia De Clercq. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Hero / Idol
His brothers Koen and Mattis. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Injuries
He sustained a 2cm muscle tear while competing at the 2019 Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019; Pajot Sport Facebook page, 28 May 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Mens sana in corpore sano." [A healthy mind in a healthy body] (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Other sports
He played football at youth level for Belgian clubs Eendracht Alst, Anderlecht and Beveren. (nieuws.verkeeropschool.be, 05 May 2014)
Famous relatives
His partner Livia De Clercq has represented Belgium in Para athletics, and finished ninth in the T42 long jump at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. His older brothers Koen and Mattis have both played professional football at club level in Belgium. (SportsDeskOnline, 19 Nov 2019; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019; voetbalkrant.com, 07 May 2017; transfermarkt.nl, 01 May 2011)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (sporza.be, 15 Mar 2018)
Impairment
He was involved in a car crash at age 19 after he fell asleep while driving home from a party. He sustained a brain injury in the incident and was in a coma for a month. The injury resulted in hemiplegia on his right side. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019; nieuws.verkeeropschool.be, 05 May 2014)