With the date recently announced by event founder, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP for the third Waverley Para Games, Farnham Paralympian Rachel Morris has confirmed her support for the annual event.
Rachel has been a supporter of The Games since its beginnings. A Gold medalist in hand cycling in the 2008 Olympics and a Bronze medalist in London four years later, Rachel is now part of the GB Para Rowing team and in training for Rio. She said: “I am totally behind the Waverley Para Games and firmly believe the event is just what we need in the area and ultimately nationally to increase the chances for any young person with a disability to achieve excellence in sport and for giving the same opportunities to disabled as able-bodied children in sport from grass roots through to elite.
“The Games have grown into a really important event for the area and for supporting SEND youngsters in gaining better access to sport. Just because your body doesn't work in the way it ideally should doesn't mean you can't have the same dreams and achieve the same goals as your peers. It is vital that teachers, schools and communities enable youngsters with physical and learning disabilities access to the right clubs and training to create these opportunities.”
A new supporter also backing this year’s Waverley Para Games is International Para Dressage Rider Erin Orford. She said: “I knew of the Games but wanted to get more involved this year and am pleased to be able to lend my support. I am looking forward to meeting some of the competitors and talking to them about what they can achieve with a bit of support, hard work and determination.”
Along with her busy training schedule for the many international dressage competitions and her goal of selection at the Rio 2016 Para Games, Erin works for COINS Foundation who are one of the event’s sponsors again this year. Erin added: “Working for COINS Foundation and seeing firsthand the amazing work they do supporting good causes is an incredible experience and I am very happy to be part of the organisation.”
The other event sponsor is The DFN Charitable Foundation established by David Forbes-Nixon. David commented: “The DFN Charitable Foundation is delighted to be partnering with the COINS Foundation to support the Waverley Para Games again and give local children the chance to participate in sport and be inspired by some amazing Paralympians. Giving SEND youngsters access to a wide range of sports opens up their minds to what is truly possible if they work hard and dream a little.”
This year’s Waverley Para Games takes place on Friday 18th March at the Charterhouse Club in Godalming. Each year, more than 100 young SEND students (aged 11-14 years) from schools throughout Surrey have taken part in the Games and it is hoped this year’s event will attract even more athletes.
Jeremy Hunt MP has written to all Surrey Head teachers encouraging them to get involved and hopes to make the Games the biggest and best yet.