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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 23 September, 2019
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'In normal society I'm seen as a disabled guy but when playing Airsoft I'm a worthy combatant'

“I thought it would be something to vent my rage, but it took away my rage.”

DUBLIN BORN SIMON Jameson is in a wheelchair due to a terminal condition and has often felt like he “doesn’t fit in anywhere”.

However, he has found a place where he belongs thanks to the ever-growing activity of Airsoft.

Airsoft is a game where players take part in mock combat and shoot each other with replica firearms called airsoft guns.

He says:

In normal society, I’m seen as a disabled guy who probably has nothing in between his ears but out there I’m seen as a worthy combatant.

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Airsoft relies on an honour system where people must put up their hand if they have been shot.

GIF airsoft

Jameson has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a rare recessive disease that attacks the body causing muscle degeneration.

The 27-year-old started playing Airsoft from his modified wheelchair about nine years ago.

“At the start it was to be dressed up in a cool uniform and to play the tough army man but it’s more so just to do a fun sport.

Airsoft pic

“It’s damn difficult for me. They’re more agile, they’re on legs, they’re covered and when I go around a corner and hit someone it’s, ‘Yes I did it, I actually accomplished something’. I don’t know if anyone gets more pride out of it then I do.

The thing about Airsoft is everyone is equal. I feel Airsoft is the only place I live, the only place I exist. That’s a bit harsh but it’s the truth for me.

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“I always idealised the whole warrior ideology, being a good person and someone who is not afraid to stand up to bullies.

I suppose at the start I thought it would be somewhere where I could vent my rage, but instead it gave me a place where I didn’t have to feel rage.

“All the hardship in my life and the hate just seemed to have waddled away.

The Dubliner also described how the sport has changed his perception:

I think the limitations are the ones you create in your mind … Look at me, I can’t move… I can just about move my neck and hands yet I drive around a battlefield with fake guns on me.

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Jameson said the illness is also tough on his family.

“It’s a grim, grim illness to have. It is hard on your family as well. They have to watch it. I lost my brother to it.

“What scares me is nobody really knowing who I was – existing but not existing.”

Source: Taller Stories/YouTube

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to raise funds for a all-terrain off-road wheelchair for Simon. 

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