18 December 2020
Inside ParalympicsGB with Clare Balding
In late 2020 we pulled together a very special panel for a discussion about our behind the scenes preparations for the postponed Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Clare Balding, led an honest and uplifting video chat with ParalympicsGB stars Stef Reid and David Smith, Tokyo Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe and CEO Mike Sharrock, and an invited audience of our supporters, commercial partners and guests.
It’s made me feel so grateful for what I do, and that I get a chance to watch you guys compete and talk to you about it.
On the postponement, British Paralympic Association (BPA) Patron Balding said: “It’s made me feel so grateful for what I do, and that I get a chance to watch you guys compete and talk to you about it. To have had this year to reflect, I’ll be even more excited and thankful for it when it happens!”
For long jumper Stef Reid, a member of our Athletes’ Commission, finding motivation in this rollercoaster of a year has been about accepting what was in her power to control.
“I can’t control any of this, there’s nothing I can do about it, so then I was super pumped again! Like, right, I’m going to make the most of this. What in my house can I turn into a gym?!”
Working closely on the team’s preparations with BPA staff behind the scenes, Reid has had a unique insight as an athlete this time around.
“The Games will be different, but they’re still going to be amazing. I sit on the BPA Athlete’s Commission, and you see the work that goes into it. The unfortunate thing is when the BPA do their job really well as an athlete you don’t notice and you don’t understand the work that goes into it.”
Boccia legend David Smith added: “We’ve done pretty well as a team during lockdown, with the support of the BPA, ironically we’ve probably spent more time together: either squad meetups on Zoom, one to one with coaches, or psychologists, we’ve just used the time differently.”
Looking forward to the summer, Japan’s second Paralympic Games could offer more than just a sporting spectacle.
Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe said, “Tokyo could be a celebration of the resilience of humanity and that just gives me goosebumps thinking about it. We’re really hoping ParalympicsGB is the second most loved team in Japan in 2021 (behind the hosts, obviously)”
CEO Mike Sharrock added, “It just makes me feel proud, the way that all the athletes across the system have dealt with this thing that has been thrown at them. It’s been the most amazing display of resilience across the BPA team.”
“We’re working flat out to create the best possible environment for our athletes because we know what a difference it makes. We’ll be ready and whatever we can and can’t do in Tokyo, it will be a fantastic opportunity for the world’s athletes to get back together and celebrate.”
Find out more about how you can get involved and support ParalympicsGB on the journey to Tokyo and beyond: https://paralympics.org.uk/support
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