The road to London, with a diversion around Beijing
I broke my spine in June 2005. I knew, very quickly, that I would never walk again. What I didn't know, or guess, or even dream was that in seven years' time I'd captain my nation at a Paralympics. After lifesaving surgery and months in hospital I was introduced to wheelchair rugby. Soon after that I dedicated all of the time, effort and will I could muster to earning myself a place at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. I was unsuccessful.
Disappointment only intensified my drive to excel as an athlete and a leader. At club and national level I was privileged to be part of several trophy-winning teams. Finally, in 2012, came the pinnacle of my sporting career, when I was named captain of the Great Britain squad at our home Paralympics.
Since London 2012 I've tried to live, as much as possible, outside of my comfort zone. Television presenting, public speaking, mentoring, coaching and charity support - these all act to shove me firmly out of my comfort zone at times. However, they offer such amazing rewards that I'm beginning to feel that comfort zones are overrated. You can find more information about these aspects of my life by looking under the Services heading at the top of the page.
It was lovely to have my efforts for myself and others acknowledged when I was voted part of the 'Power 100 2015: Britain's most influential people with a disability or impairment.' It's a real honour to be on this list, but I know that I didn't get there alone. So many people have helped me to this point and anything I achieve is their achievement, also.
To each of you: thank you.
Sporting Career highlights to date
- 2012: Captain for London 2012 Wheelchair Rugby team
- 2012: Captain of London 2012 Wheelchair Rugby test event
- 2011: European Championships - Silver medallist
- 2011: Selected for Squad 2012 and asked to captain squad
- 2010: National Champions
- 2010: 4th with GB at the Australian Super Series
- 2008: European Cup Winners
- 2008: National Champions
- 2008: German competition winners
- 2007: European Champions
- 2007: European Cup Winners with GB
- 2006: National Champions