A fast-footed paramedic from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has been crowned World Irish Dance Champion. Leon Westcott, who works out of the Trust’s Malmesbury station, triumphed at the World Irish Dance Championships in Killarney, County Kerry.
He says that the rapid toe-tapping moves of Irish dancing keeps him in top physical form, to help save lives as a paramedic. He joined the Trust as a newly qualified paramedic in 2021 after completing a paramedic science degree at the University of the West of England.
“My job is very physical, lifting and supporting patients; and spending lots of time on my feet. So, I actually use Irish dancing to keep my fitness up. Running up to the world championships, I was in dance training five days a week, often straight after a long shift of caring for patients across Wiltshire.”
Winning the World Irish Dance Championships event was a dream for Leon and one he thought would never come true. He explained, “Even when I won, it took some time to sink in. The contest featured dancers from all over the world, from nations you wouldn’t expect to find Irish dancing.”
Leon said that it is traditional for the World Champion to host a party in celebration of their win. He will hold his in July to raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.