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Vanessa Daobry appointed to London 2017 Inspiration Programme Board

Women's basketball

By Simon Hart

Wheelchair athlete Vanessa Daobry is making a big impact both on and off the sports field after being appointed to the Inspiration Programme Board for the London 2017 World ParaAthletics Championships.

The University of East London (UEL) has already enjoyed a remarkable year after making her GB debut in the F34 shot put at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) European Athletics Championships in Grosseto, Italy, last month.

Her next big target is to be selected for the Rio Paralympics in September, but she is also eager to inspire other disabled people to take part in sport through her new board position.

“It’s a real privilege to be a part of the Inspiration Programme Board for London 2017,” she said.

“The 2012 Paralympic Games proved to be monumental for encouraging and inspiring disabled individuals to participate in sport, whether that was through competing, volunteering or spectating.

“The World ParaAthletics Championships will present further opportunities to continue the work done over the last four years and I’m delighted to be able to be involved in the project.”

Vanessa, 38, only took up shot put 18 months ago but has enjoyed a remarkable rise to the top tier of Paralympic sport. She is currently ranked No 1 in Europe.

Her improvement has coincided with her decision to return to education by embarking on a ‘New Beginnings’ access course at UEL which prepares mature students for degree study. She plans to start a degree in Sport and Exercise Science in September.

She attributes much of her rapid progress as an athlete to the state-of-the-art strength and conditioning gym that she has access to at UEL, as well expert coaching and advice.

Prior to joining taking up shot put and joining UEL, Vanessa coached wheelchair athletes at the Haringey Wheelers club, close to her home in north London.  

Commenting on her appointment to the board, Ed Warner, co-chair of London 2017, said: “Vanessa’s London roots will prove invaluable in driving forward our Inspiration Programme’s disability athletics initiatives in the host city and the nation more widely.2

“Vanessa’s involvement in and experience with grassroots sport will prove vital to our Inspiration Programme and help guarantee a strong athletics legacy.”

Fellow co-chair of London 2017, Sir Robin Young, said, “Vanessa’s involvement in and experience with grassroots sport will prove vital to our Inspiration Programme and help guarantee a strong athletics legacy.”