Guest Blog: Norwich group meet Paralympic athletes to discuss disability and development

1 Oct 2013

Today's blog comes from Mark and Ann Marie Pointer of our Norwich group

[caption id="attachment_13933" align="alignright" width="300"]Norwich group with Paralympian Amy Conroy Norwich group with Paralympian Amy Conroy[/caption]

Following our July Action, we had a great response from our GB Paralympians in Norfolk interested in becoming “Champions for Change” for children with disabilities.  We recently had two excellent meetings with GB Wheelchair Basketball player, Amy Conroy and GB Wheelchair Shot-Putter/Javelin thrower, Danny Nobbs.

At each meeting, we explained the work of RESULTS UK, how we had become involved and about the issue of inclusive education and the upcoming UN High Level meeting on “Disability & Development” in New York.

Amy is from Norwich and represented Team GB in last years London 2012 Paralympics in the Wheelchair Basketball. She recently returned from Frankfurt, where Team GB won a bronze medal in the European Championship.

Amy is very dedicated and determined young woman, who has battled hard to achieve so much already.  At a young age Amy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma - a cancer that runs in her family. After taking chemotherapy it sadly was not enough and her left leg had to be amputated. The news was devastating for someone who was always very active and sporty.

But not to be deterred, Amy decided to go for a wheelchair basketball taster day, saw some amazing players and thought she wanted to be like them.  Now she is an established top Team GB player.

Amy is now back studying Social Psychology at Loughborough University after taking a year out to focus on last year’s Paralympics.

Danny is from Attleborough, near Norwich and represented Team GB in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics in the F54 Shot-Putt.

[caption id="attachment_13932" align="alignright" width="300"]Norwich group with Danny Nobbs Paralympian Ann Marie with Danny[/caption]

Danny was a county standard cricketer and footballer and was having trials with Norwich City, before having a motorcycle accident at the age of 17 – leaving him paralysed from the chest down.

His relationship with sport changed dramatically, and after taking part in the Great North Run to raise money for a friend's daughter, Danny`s desire to compete was rekindled. He excelled in field athletics and quickly established himself as a world force in the Shot-Putt.

He has won the British Wheel chair Athletics Association “Athlete of the Year” three times, but unfortunately despite being British record holder and ranked in the top three in the world in his class his hopes of making London 2012 were dashed after the International Paralympic Committee changed the throwing frame regulations, leaving him at a significant disadvantage.

Since London 2012, Danny had focused his attentions on the 2013 World and European Championships, but has been forced to abandon the Shot-Putt after his class was replaced with a single class, which effectively means that Danny would have no event.

Not to be discouraged, Danny has now switched his attention to the Javelin for Rio in 2016, where he will be competing on a level playing field with athletics with a similar disability.

Danny works for Aviva in Norwich and is a respected Ambassador for disabled sport, including for Premier Sport and the Norwich City Football Club Community Foundation.  Danny often goes into schools and colleges to talk about his life experiences.

Amy and Danny are true inspirations for disabled sport.  Their stories are testament that despite the problems and disappointments they have encountered, they are still so dedicated, determined and grounded to achieve their ultimate goal.  They expressed how integration into sport had given them confidence to express themselves.

We are delighted that Amy and Danny are keen to support RESULTS UK and we look forward to working with them in the future.

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RESULTS UK is a charity registered as RESULTS Education in England and Wales (1015286), a company limited by guarantee (2761858), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC041481).