I am a Paralympic athlete with a different story/journey behind me.
As a Paralympian most of athletes have survived/faced challenges along the way into becoming an athlete but I come from an Olympic dreaming teenager who ran for GB and had my foot on the pathway so to speak.
However as a teenager suffering an extremely rare set of complications I became a bilateral above knee amputee with unrelenting nerve pain, but never lost sight of my dream. I know am able to speak to schools/run workshops/1:1 sessions with people who are struggling adapting to disability/diagnosis with a ‘real story’ and support them in creating pathway for themselves.
As an athlete personally I had to overcome many challenges, some greater than others…some personal whilst some purely physical. I have achieved an unusual title of Paralympic Champion in two sports, Handcycling & Rowing and Handcycling World Champion titles in both Road Race&Time Trial in the same year. For me changing sports has become exciting, unusual, challenging, makes me more marketable, a unique journey/story to tell. This is something as an athlete going forwards I am looking to develop further to support junior athletes and also in Special Educational Needs/Disability (SEND) in schools.
I am currently back on a new program of Nordic Skiing which has provided many new challenges
I had my shoulders rebuilt post Rio 2016 & was told I wouldn’t return to elite sport. However with a lot of determination, courage & understanding who I needed around me to create #TeamRachel I could&would return.
I am currently on the Paralympic Pathway to Beijing 2022 as a Nordic skier. I have developed so much mental strength from the challenges have faced and now building an exciting few years ahead whilst building my future for after ‘retirement’.
I find it is crucial to keep focused on things being sport and find it very engaging&rewarding learning about Psychology and SEND young people/those vulnerable students and where sport&the great outdoors can help them to develop, cope and learn to manage their situation but on a pathway I have designed through my experience.
Sport has so many hidden values which so much of society is struggling with. I can hold these and build my life around them and also bring struggling/ vulnerable young people in and give them a chance but also a way of understanding themselves.
I am looking for help to achieve my next goals. Gold in a Paralympic Games (so far unachieved) as an athlete in 4 sports plus summer to winter transfer. I am also pushing boundaries by training in new ways, designing equipment to make things accessible to achieve.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my synopsis of my journey so far & I hope to hear from you& hope you will be as excited about and by sport as I am to work together in the future.