I am thrilled to say that I have been selected to represent Great Britain at the 2018 Cerebral Palsy (CP) World Games, which takes part in Spain in August. It is a huge honour, and comes after years of dedicated training and balancing studies with the early starts and late finishes required by swimmers.
Currently, there is no central support or funding for the CP World Games, so athletes with qualifying times who are selected to represent the GB Team are required to self-fund their participation in the event.
The target I have set should, hopefully, cover the costs of my travel around Sussex and London to essential training sessions at suitable pools, competition fees leading up to the event, flights to Spain (in peak season!), athlete accommodation while competing, racing suits and other costs too, so it is fair to say I have more than one big target to aim for at the moment!
I began swimming at the age of 14, after a major operation on my leg due to my CP, and after the recuperative benefits were felt, it was recognised that I had an affinity to the water. I gained an official classification 2 years later, and started swimming competitively. Although beginning competitive meets at a relatively late age, I am proud to say I have swum for my club (Marlins), at County, Regional, National and International level, and medalled Nationally over consecutive years.
I have competed at pools with Ellie Simmonds, Sascha Kindred, and a crop of well known para-athletes but the chance to fly to Spain to represent Great Britain in the pool at the CP World Games is the stuff of dreams and would fulfill a long held ambition. It also means I am now fitting in maximum training as well as my studies.
I am in my second year at Brunel University, on my way to becoming a physiotherapist. I know from personal experience how physiotherapy can have a positive effect on people's outlooks and overall quality of life, so am committed to the intensive studying required. However, intensive it is, so paid employment is not currently a realistic option as a means to raise funds. This is where you lovely people come in!
I have always focused on what I CAN do, rather than what I can't, and currently I CAN represent Great Britain at a World Games competition, if I can raise the funds, so I will be genuinely grateful for anything you can give.
NB: The target was revised recently, after more accurate calculations were made on likely costs. To anyone who has already donated, your help is hugely appreciated.
Thank you for your support. Whoever you are, from whichever of the communities that I am a part of, thank you for helping me to achieve my dream. I hope to make you proud.
A successful haul from the National Championships.
Trust me, THIS takes a lot of practice when you have CP!
Mid Sussex Marlins are my home club, and have been hugely supportive from the beginning.
My university team mugshot!
I am ready to do us all proud.
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