Paralympians hope to inspire the next generation

Two athletes who have represented Team GB at the Paralympics are hoping to inspire young people with disabilities to get involved in sport.

Georgina Hermitage and Sophia Warner, who specialise in the T37 and T35 sprint events respectively, are hoping their stories will provide motivation to those who could be competing themselves in years to come.

Georgina, who has cerebral palsy, had won the 100metre final at last summer’s Paralympics in Rio, clinching the gold medal with a time of 13.13.

Sophia also has the movement disorder had got into running as a teenager, making the podium at a number of world championships and reaching the finals of the London Games five years ago. Having since retired from professional competition, she has set up her own agency to promote disabled sport.

“It was brilliant,” she said of her visit to West Hill School, in Surrey. “During 2012 I used to go out and do it quite a lot [of promoting Paralympic sport] and I haven’t done it for a while.

“I was really surprised to see how inspired the kids were and it’s a completely new generation now and children are in awe of Paralympic athletes. All they wanted to do was touch Georgina’s gold medal and it was great.

“When Georgina stood up to talk to them at the school she pointed out that [sport] really changed her life and she felt more confident. It changed her life and the children, by the end of it, felt they could go out and actually win a gold medal if they trained hard enough.”

Sophia hopes to encourage youngsters to engage in sport by running fun, “gutsy” events, suitable for people with various types of disability.

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