Friday, 19 January 2018

English Federation of Disability Sport

Over December and January I worked with a lovely lady called Courtney to put together a blog post for the English Federation of Disability Sport website, after I met Barry Horne (EFDS Chief Executive) at the RDA AGM in November.
The finished article is now live on the EFDS website - click here to read it!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

One way to start the year!

At the moment, things aren't easy. When I have more energy I'll write a bit more about why things aren't easy, but for now this post for Your Horse will give you some more information.https://www.yourhorse.co.uk/blogs/the-para-vaulter-a-disappointing-december

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Day 24 - choir

I like singing. It'd been a long time since I'd sung regularly in a choir when I joined my local church choir a few months ago, and I'd forgotten how much I liked it. Specifically, I'm a nerd and I like singing church music in Anglican services. Being in a church/chapel/cathedral choir (I speak from experience of all of them) is way better than being in any other kind of choir. We sing new music every week, so you don't get bored of stuff and there's always a new challenge. We sing for a purpose that isn't making money. We get fancy clothes to wear. We get on with the job. Best of all, we get to sing from the music and rarely, if ever, from memory - and at Christmas time, we have the absolute bestest music!
Dream of Gerontius at Salisbury Cathedral, as part of Clare Choir (Cambridge), with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, 2011

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Day 23 - rowers

Earlier this month, I took part in the Fairbairn Cup Races, which is an annual event organised by Jesus College, Cambridge. As a college rower/cox I'd raced Fairbairn's a few times, but one of the nicest things about it is that alumni crews are invited to come back and race too. This year, I opted to cox the boat that was full of the older, more distinguished rowers! Well, mostly because the younger crew with John in was racing in a division that clashed with gymnastics, and I wouldn't have been able to get to the river in time for them...

Friday, 22 December 2017

Day 22 - The RDA!

Well, the easiest way to let you know what the RDA has done for me would be to direct you to this page.

But, just to give a bit more detail, I want to talk about the people in my own RDA group and how they have helped me.

Day 21 - my mum!

My mummy is the greatest. She cares for me, drives me to training/competitions/hospitals, she makes me laugh, she makes hot water bottles, she brings me medication, she cooks my food, she fetches things for me when I can't move, she puts up with me and, most of all, she supports me in everything I do. Without her I wouldn't be doing any of all the other stuff that is on this blog. Without her I would have died long ago. Without her I wouldn't have the means to do anything. She is simply wonderful and I love her completely.
Riding the fairground horses in France!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Day 20 - school (the grown-ups!)

I've already written about how great the children are that I work with, and today I want to say thanks to the adults. Trying to do the best for children who all have different needs - but whose needs are perceived as broadly the same by any government - is challenging! All the staff, however, try their hardest for the children and genuinely have their best interests at heart. They're also good to work with - I know I can always get advice (and do so on a daily basis!) and they're good fun. I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy going into work and a big part of that is knowing that I am supported by the rest of the staff, just as I try to support them.
As with the children, I don't want to share a picture of them directly because it would be unprofessional. I chose the one above because this week we all got an exciting Christmas present of the school's first ever colour photocopier! 😄

Day 19 - Isabelle

I was so busy feeling grumpy and sorry for myself yesterday that I didn't get round to feeling grateful for people - well, not online here anyway. My person for Day 19 is Isabelle, daughter of the inimitable Julie. Isabelle is a super volunteer for the RDA and also an excellent vaulter. This year she competed internationally for the first time and I was super proud! Isabelle is only a youngster really - she's in her final year at school - but she has maturity, compassion and generosity well beyond her years. She's witty and hardworking and, like her mum, is always a calming presence as well as being good fun!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Day 18 - family

Today I'm grateful for my lovely brothers and their lovely wives and lovely children (and livestock...). My oldest brother, Tom, is married to Katie and they have two little girls - Ælfreda (who celebrated her second birthday yesterday) and Astrid, who is just two weeks old today! They have a mad working cocker spaniel called Maple, aka 'Yellow Dog' (Rosie is 'Brown Dog').
Maple and Rosie
My other brother, Edward, comes between me and Tom in age. In June this year he married Hannah - they had a lovely wedding in White Notley, where we grew up. It was one of the happiest days I've ever had! Hannah and Edward have two bunnies (Wiffles and Lola) and their plan is to get a puppy in the spring/summer - yay! - followed by children at some point... 😊

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Day 17 - Emily

Today I am grateful to my wonderful friend Emily. Emily rides at my RDA group and is a very good rider and vaulter. She also comes to disability gymnastics class with me and always helps me have a great time!
Guess which one is me!
Emily has autism and is amazing at describing how it affects her. She is an expert on her condition and reaches out to people online and in person to share good news and good ideas. She's always so positive and has the best attitude even when she's finding things difficult.