The Kennel Club Charitable Trust

Agility Helped Dog Lover Get Over Stroke

Rod Norton, aged 67 from Louth, Lincolnshire has revealed how competing in agility with his dog has helped him get over a stroke and back to being fighting fit.

Rod began competing in agility about 20 years ago

Rod began competing in agility about 20 years ago until he suffered a stroke in March 2013 and his mobility was severely affected. Rod worked with his physiotherapist for four months’ intensive treatment to get back to fitness. Competing in agility has not only helped Rod rebuild his life as he was very determined to get back to competing again, but it is also a family sport in which his daughter, Kathryn, aged 19 also competes.

Rod explains: “After my stroke I could have given up but I knew my dog Billie had lots of potential so getting fit was my target. I told the physio that was what my target was and he said he had never heard of anything like this before. People who meet me now don’t believe I had a stroke. All the hard work and physio was worth it to compete with my dogs at the International Agility Festival.”

Rod competed at the Kennel Club International Agility Festival for the sixth time this year with his five dogs.

The Kennel Club International Agility Festival took place at Rockingham Castle in Rockingham, near Market Harborough from Thursday 7th August until Sunday 10th August. Around 2,700 dogs of all types, sizes and experience levels competed across 15 agility rings, with dogs jumping and weaving their way around the various courses.

For more information on the festival, visit To find your local club, visit