Lived experience of impairment and its value

A lot of my conversations, both personal and professional of late, have revolved around the importance and value of lived experience of impairment.  Growing up, I learned about the importance of being able to articulate the impact my impairment had.  If I couldn’t explain it, then I couldn’t help other to begin to understand what it …

Rio 2016: Time to let the sport do the talking

Imagine that you had been preparing for something all your life. You had put in thousands of hours over a period of years.  You have changed your diet, moved away from family, put yourself through training sessions every day and had beaten off stiff competition.  Now the biggest moment of your life was around the …

Rio 2016 – My 6 to watch

In this blog, I’ll pick out some athletes to keep an eye on in Rio.  I should say at the outset that it is notoriously difficult to predict how things will go in Paralympic sport, so inclusion here isn’t all about medals (I don’t want to tempt fate either!) here are a few to keep …

Choppy Waters? Classification and Paralympic Swimming Part 1

Classification is the foundation of modern competitive Paralympic Sport.  It is the basis on which athletes are assessed according to the nature of their impairment.  An assessment is carried out so that athletes can be grouped together and compete against athletes who have a similar functional ability.  The IPC website opens its webpage on classification by saying …

Growing Up and pushing the potential

I have been reflecting a lot on my childhood of late and growing up.  I think there are a few reasons for this.  Firstly the feelings of broodiness I have referred previously seem to be constantly there.  A lovely family visit also prompted a bit of a deep and meaningful chat between Fran, myself and my parents.  In …

#filltheseats and why it matters

If you have read this blog for a while you’ll know that Rio has had a troubled build up to the Paralympics. It is right to highlight a much more positive development in the form of the #filltheseats campaign. This campaign will help Brazilian children see the Paralympic Games. This is such a powerful thing. …