BEIJING - SEPTEMBER 11   The British  team of Niki Birrel and Alexandra Rickham  competes in the 2P Keelboat Sailing event at Qingdao Olympic Sailing Centre during day five of the 2008 Paralympic Games on September 11, 2008 in Qingdao, China. (Photo by Chien-min Chung/Getty Images)

Rickham selected to set sail for Great Britain at Paralympics in Rio

Alexandra Rickham is a GLL Sport Foundation Ambassador and a role model to many young athletes. Rickham came down to support the #TeamBetter Swim Challenge whilst they were swimming in her local pool, the same day she found out about Rio selection.alex

The 34 year-old from Epsom has been selected for the ParalympicsGB sailing squad in Rio, where she and partner Niki Birrell will compete in the SKUD 18 class.

It will be the third Paralympic appearance for the five time world champions, and they will be hoping to improve on the bronze medal won at London 2012.

Unfortunately, the event has been withdrawn from the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020, meaning this could be their final shot at glory.

But Rickham reckons they are ready, saying: “I couldn’t be happier to be selected to represent ParalympicsGB in Rio.

“We’ll face tough competition out there, but these next few months of intensive preparations will make sure we’ll be ready to shine.”

She added: “And having such incredible support back at home will really boost us.” Here at the GLL Sport Foundation we are proud to support Alexandra on her Paralympic journey.

Rickham, who was boalex2rn in Jamaica, became a tetraplegic in 1995 after a shallow diving accident, while her team-mate from Bournemouth was born with cerebral palsy.

Sailing team leader and RYA Olympic and Paralympic manager Stephen Park OBE said: “All of these athletes have been to the Games before and with the removal of sailing from the Tokyo 2020 programme, this could be the last opportunity for them to perform.”

“So we will be working all out with them and doing all we can to ensure they fulfil their medal potential in Rio.”

Good luck to Alexandra and Niki in the lead up to the Games – we’ll be keeping tabs on your training and cheering you on the whole way! #proudsupporters

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