After being inspired watching the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, I attended a para-fest in December of that year where I was tested by Great Britain Cycling Team coaches, I had loved watching the track cycling at the Paralympic games and really wanted to give it a try. I had already had a classification as a C2 para-cyclist and following my trial I was offered a place on the GB Para-cycling Development Programme in May 2013.
My first major international success was in the 2015 Newport Para-cycling International in January where I won two medals – silver in the mixed team sprint with Jaco van Gass and Jon Gildea and a bronze in the 3K individual pursuit.
In March 2016 I was selected to represent Great Britain at the the Para-cycling Track World Championships in Montichiari, Italy. I set a personal best time in the 3K individual pursuit, and won bronze in the C2 kilo. Following a change to the team sprint riders, I had the opportunity to ride as man 1 in this event with Jon Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy. We qualified fastest before winning gold in a world record time in the final.
The icing on the cake last year was being selected for the Rio Paralympic Games. I won bronze in the 3K individual pursuit before taking my man 1 position for the team sprint event, the final event of the games in the velodrome. What an unforgettable afternoon that was, we broke our own world record in qualifying before breaking it again in the final to beat China for the gold medal in a time of 48.635. It really was a dream come true for me.
“The support of the GLL Sport Foundation has been invaluable to me. The local gym in Cambridge is a great training venue and the opportunities for networking that GLL provides me to get together with other athletes is really important. I am grateful for the continued support from GLL and always pleased to let them know when I have done well.”
My attention has now switched to track events and I have moved my training base to Manchester to be close to the velodrome. I am working hard to continue to increase my fitness and strength to improve on my international performances moving forward.
My goal for the year is to improve my time for my 3k pursuit event, we have a major competition coming up in November and I am focused on preparation for that at the moment.