How did you first get involved in your sport?
I can still 'walk' in some way, shape or form and as such for several years after my accident and injury I never realised that I could compete in wheelchair sport, as my pre-conception was that you had to be in a chair permanently to be able to compete. It was through my Spinal Injuries Unit and a friend of mine that I realised that this wasn't so and about 3 years ago I tried my first session of wheelchair basketball and was hooked. Having been an able-bodied female basketball player of a fairly high standard it felt like I had found a small piece of heaven, in terms of being able to finally compete again.
What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?
The thrill of competing. The desire to continually seek improvement, to push the boundaries, to chase the dream and embrace every single second out on the court.
Who is your sporting hero?
Martina Navratilova. As a young girl, it felt like she challenged the perception of what it was to be an athlete and a woman. For me, as a young kid, she helped put women's sport on the world stage for a positive reason. She placed at importance not only on equality but also on training, discipline, on S&C and allowed young women to realise that to be competitive, physical and strong was something that was positive and deserved proactive recognition. I personally believe that she helped to pave the way for so many of today’s female athletes in so many sports.
What does a typical week look like for you?
- Monday: Stretch, prehab, then training at GB HPC Stoke Mandeville
- Tuesday: Usually back down at the University of Brighton with an afternoon S&C session (heavy), plus any additional court time for shooting practice/ chair skills if available...followed by recovery and stretching.
- Wednesday: Training with the GLL and London Aspire Titans at the Copper Box in the Olympic Park
- Thursday: Usually an afternoon S&C session (lighter) quite often with the sled out on the track or an indoor circuit at the University of Brighton, plus any additional court time for shooting practice of available.
- Friday: Day of rest, nutrition, stretching in preparation for the weekend and fixtures
- Saturday: Either National League Fixtures or four hours of court based training at Stanmore.
- Sunday: National League Fixtures/stretch/pushing or rest day dependent on the previous six days!
How will your SportsAid Award help you this year?
My SportsAid Award allows me to access a plethora of essential help and support that would allow me to hopefully progress to the next level of competition that I am aspiring to, which would be to become an official part of the GB Women's Wheelchair Basketball Squad.s At this moment in time I pay for all my travelling expenses (I drive approximately 400-500 miles a week to GB HPC training / club training and National Division One and Two games.) I have sacrificed so much to pursue the dream of being able to hopefully, with focus, dedication, effort, determination, tenacity and perseverance represent my country.
What do you do in your free time?
Think about what I need to do tomorrow to improve some more.
- 2014: selected for world championships
- Be invited to attend the GB Women’s Squad Camp in Worcester.
- To go one better in this year’s National Championships and swap last year’s silver for a 2014 gold
- My ultimate long term aim at this point in time is to secure a place on the GB Women's Wheelchair Basketball Squad.
- Put myself in contention for a place on the GB Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team competing at the Eurpoean Chamionships in Worcester in 2015, one year prior to the selection for Rio.
- Ultimately I 'dream' of Rio... but for me it is a daily process built on strong foundations so I need to complete tomorrow's goals before next week’s, next month’s or next year’s.
Photo: Supplied by British Wheelchair BasketballLast Updated: 23rd April 2014
- Age: 40 Years
- Sport: Basketball
- Region: South East
- Supporter: SportsAid
“I just got home today to receive quite possibly the most amazing letter from you in the post... I would like to say an ENORMOUS thank you from the very bottom of my heart, this will make such a MAHUSSIVE difference to the year ahead and a simple thank you somehow seems wholly inadequate. I should also just let you know that I have just been selected as part of a ten player strong GB National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team travelling out to Papendal in Holland to play the Dutch National Team next month (four times over the course of a weekend)... and will therefore be receiving my first international cap :) It has quite possibly been the most incredible 48 hours of my life...thank you again. The work you do really does effect the lives of athletes out there working hard in an incredibly positive manner.”