By Ian Dipple Friday 28 September 2012 Updated: 28/09 09:58
A PARALYMPIAN helped launch a new scheme to inspire young people and raise their aspiration.
Anna Turney, Britain's top sit-skier and medal hope for the 2014 winter Paralympic Games in Russia, visited Studley High School on Monday (September 24) to kick-start the 'Be the best you can be' project, which also forms part of the social legacy of London 2012.
Ms Turney gave a talk about her own life story and the accident on the slopes of Yamagata, Japan in 2006 which shattered her lower thoracic spine, a few ribs and her dream of snowboarding for Great Britain as in a fraction of a second she became a paraplegic.
But while watching the Torino Olympics in a hospital bed she resolved to become a Paralympic skier and after battling through rehab, just four years after her accident she finished sixth in the Vancouver Paralympics and has high hopes of bringing home a medal in two years time, having risen to fourth in Europe and ninth in the world.
The Warwick resident said the determination and ambition needed to compete as a top athlete were just as necessary to succeed in other walks of life.
"We work harder than most people, not only being able to push your body to the extremes but in a sport like skiiing there's not much funding for it, so on top of being an athlete I have to work to pay my bills and find sponsors to fund my skiiing," she said.
"This is a really good scheme, because it gets young people to think about themselves and their own goals and their own aspirations and helps with self confidence and self-belief which is something you people are often lacking."
The course runs for the whole academic year and focuses on coaching and questioning skills, as well as looking at team-work and healthy lifestyles. The aim is for pupils to realise and develop their hidden strengths, while nurturing their ambition to succeed in life, despite any challenges they may face. All those who complete the course will get a specially commissioned coin from the Royal Mint.
Amy Page, the school's co-ordinator of the project, said: "It is important on many levels but especially with a view to developing the social legacy from the games - we aim to use this project to build ambition and pride for the children’s futures."
Visit www.annaturney.com for more information about her or to offer sponsorship.
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