SportsAid athletes set for the big stage as World Para Athletics Championships near

There will be a strong SportsAid presence at next month’s World Para Athletics Championships in London with 37 members of the 51-strong team having received support from the charity during their careers. Sprint sensations Richard Whitehead and Jonnie Peacock are among the vast SportsAid alumni set for action at the London Stadium as they get ready to return to the scene of their first Paralympic successes five years ago.
08 June, 2017

There will be a strong SportsAid presence at next month’s World Para Athletics Championships in London with 37 members of the 51-strong team having received support from the charity during their careers. Sprint sensations Richard Whitehead and Jonnie Peacock are among the vast SportsAid alumni set for action at the London Stadium as they get ready to return to the scene of their first Paralympic successes five years ago.

The Championships, taking place from 14-23 July, will also see five currently supported SportsAid athletes representing Great Britain as Rhys Jones, 22, Jade Jones, 21, Zak Skinner, 18, Martina Barber, 22, and James Hamilton, 24, prepare for the competition. A total of 32 athletes have been given help by SportsAid since London 2012 while 31 competed at the Rio Paralympic Games.

“We have selected a very strong team for the World Para Athletics Championships,” said Paula Dunn - Para Athletics Head Coach. “I am delighted to see so many medallists from Rio lining up alongside some new faces at the senior level. Having a home world championship is very special for all the athletes, coaches and team staff, so we are all very honoured to be representing the British team.”

Paula, an Olympian and former SportsAid recipient herself, added: “We have selected five athletes who topped the podium at the Paralympic Games in 2012, so they have valuable experience of a home championship. I expect the British public will throw their support behind the team once more, and our team will create some unforgettable memories for them once again in the London Stadium.”

Hollie Arnold, SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award winner in 2008, will be looking to retain the F46 women’s javelin title having claimed gold at the two previous Championships in Lyon and Doha. She took Paralympic gold in Rio having experienced her first Games in Beijing in 2008 as a 14-year-old. She narrowly missed out on a medal at London 2012 as she finished in fifth spot.

Prior to heading out to Rio last summer, Hollie told SportsAid how much of an impact she felt London 2012 had on disability sport. “The build-up to London and the coverage we had was the way it should be,” she said. “I think London opened up people's eyes to the Paralympics. It's amazing for people to watch and get really behind us. The atmosphere was buzzing and everyone was really friendly.”

Double Paralympic champion Georgie Hermitage, who secured gold in the T37 100m and 400m and silver in the T35-38 4x100m relay, received SportsAid awards in 2014 and 2015. She was inspired to take up Paralympic sport after watching London 2012 and being blown away by Mo Farah’s success. Last September, after her Paralympic glory, she revealed to SportsAid that London was in her sights.

“Next year at the Worlds would be my 2012 moment,” said Georgie at the time. “Four years ago I was standing in the crowd, just watching, so to be able to step foot on that track – it will be as close as I get in my career to that London Paralympic moment. Hopefully we’ll have some big crowds and everyone will get behind it and it will be a little piece of 2012 again.”

She added: “Tokyo 2020 was never in my thoughts, originally. When I first took it up it was Rio and then finish, but that is no way going to happen now. Obviously London 2017 is the target, and, body willing, I’ll then take it year on year. But Tokyo would be amazing and I feel like I’d love to be able to defend my titles, but it just depends whether I’m competitive enough.”

Toby Gold took silver in the T33 100m in Rio and will be looking to add to his medal haul next month. The 22-year-old was helped by SportsAid in 2013 and 2014 and said he thinks the Championships are ‘going to be amazing’ when supporting the charity during its inaugural SportsAid Week in 2016. He went on to say that ‘hopefully I can do really well and medal in London’.

Here’s the list of SportsAid athletes who will be competing at the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017....

*Kare Adenegan
T34 100m, 400m and 800m
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (SportsAid)

*Hollie Arnold
F46 Javelin
Supported by SportsAid – 2008 (Asda)

*Graeme Ballard
T36 100m and 200m
Supported by SportsAid – 2011 (Doris Dibden), 2012 (SportsAid)

Martina Barber
T20 Long Jump
Supported by SportsAid – 2011 (Doris Dibden), 2012, 2014 (SportsAid), 2015, 2016, 2017 (Prudential)

*Dan Bramall
T33 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (SportsAid)

*Mickey Bushell
T53 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2005 (SportsAid)

*Richard Chiassaro
T54 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m
Supported by SportsAid – 2012 (Asda), 2013, 2014 (SportsAid)

*Sabrina Fortune
F20 Shot Put
Supported by SportsAid – 2013, 2014 (SportsAid and TASS), 2015 (SportsAid Wales) 

Jack Gladman
T36 1500m
Supported by SportsAid – 2015 (St Albans Lunch Club), 2016 (Realbuzz)

*Toby Gold
T33 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2013, 2014 (Time Warner)

James Hamilton
T20 800m and 1500m
Supported by SportsAid – 2016 (ICAP), 2017 (SportsAid)

*Georgie Hermitage
T37 100m, 400m and 4x100m relay
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (SportsAid), 2015 (Royal Bank of Canada)

*Jordan Howe
T35 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2011 (OCS)

*Abbie Hunnisett
F32 Club Throw
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (SportsAid)

*Jade Jones
T54 800m, 1500m and 5000m
Supported by SportsAid – 2011 (Asda), 2017 (Realbuzz),

*Rhys Jones
T37 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2011 (Asda), 2017 (CGI)

*Sophie Kamlish
T44 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2012 (Variety Club)

*Sammi Kinghorn
T53 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m
Supported by SportsAid – 2013 (Asda)

*Maria Lyle
T35 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay
Supported by SportsAid – 2013, 2014 (Lloyds)

*Nathan Maguire
T54 200m, 400m and 800m
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (SportsAid), 2015, 2016 (Realbuzz)

*Polly Maton
T47 100m and Long Jump
Supported by SportsAid – 2013 (Doris Dibden), 2014 (SportsAid and TASS), 2015 (OCS) 

*Stephen Miller
F32 Club Throw
Supported by SportsAid – 1996 (SportsAid)

Stephen Morris
T20 800m, 1500m and 5000m
Supported by SportsAid – 2016 (ICAP)

*Jonnie Peacock
T44 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2009 (Doris Dibden), 2010 (SportsAid Eastern), 2011, 2012 (Variety Club)

*Gemma Prescott
F32 Club Throw
Supported by SportsAid – 2003 (H.C.Whitbread), 2012 (Asda), 2016 (Doris Dibden)

*Julie Rogers
T42 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2014, 2015, 2016 (Nottingham Building Society), Doris Dibden (2013)

*Ben Rowlings
T34 400m and 800m
Supported by SportsAid – 2012 (Variety Club), 2013 (SportsAid)

*Sam Ruddock
F35 Shot Put
Supported by SportsAid – 2013 (Asda), 2014 (SportsAid), 2015 (Realbuzz)

Zac Shaw
T12 100m and 200m
Supported by SportsAid – 2015 (Nottingham Building Society)

Luke Sinnott
T42 Long Jump
Supported by SportsAid – 2012 (Lloyds), 2014 (SportsAid)

Zak Skinner
T13 100m and Long Jump
Supported by SportsAid – 2016, 2017 (Prudential)

*Andrew Small
T33 100m
Supported by SportsAid – 2016 (Doris Dibden)

*Carly Tait
T34 100m, 400m and 800m
Supported by SportsAid – 2014 (SportsAid), 2016 (GLL Sports Foundation)

*Kieran Tscherniawsky
F33 Shot Put
Supported by SportsAid – 2010, 2011, 2012 (Variety Club), 2016 (MyLotto24)

*Isaac Towers
T34 400m and 800m
Supported by SportsAid – 2013 (OCS)

*Vanessa Wallace
F34 Shot Put
Supported by SportsAid – 2016 (Realbuzz)

*Richard Whitehead
T42 100m and 200m
Supported by SportsAid – 2009, 2010, 2011 (Elba Partner)

* signifies the athlete competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

You can still buy tickets to see all of these SportsAid athletes and their fellow Great Britain team-mates at the World Para Athletics Championships in London next month.