Kelda tells the ups & downs & now flies to Belo in Brazil with the rest of the GB Paracanoe Squad….

On Friday the 15th January, I’ll be flying out to Belo in Brazil with the rest of the GB Paracanoe Squad for a 2 week training camp that will be a vital part of our preparation for the Paralympics in September.


After all the ups and downs of the last 12 months I am incredibly proud to be part of the team going out there, and this is a huge stepping stone in fulfilling my childhood dream of representing my country at the Olympics.

I still have to pinch myself everyday to make sure I realise that this is actually happening!

It’s been hard work since we came back after Christmas, going straight into 2 days of performance testing. I delivered solid performances, although I didn’t smash it quite like I’d hoped. Still, improvements are continually happening and I’m feeling strong and ready to take on everything the training camp has to offer.

We’ll be staying in Belo for two weeks training at the same venue as the holding camp for the actual Paralympics. This will give us the opportunity to get familiar with the training environment, enabling us to deliver peak performances come September. Vital research will also be done into our sleep patterns, the effect of training at altitude, as well as all areas of training, hydration and nutrition. From this research, leanings will be drawn and any necessary actions taken in order to maximize our performances at the Games. It’s exciting to be part of such a process.

We’ll then go up to Rio itself for two days to familiarise ourselves with the actual Olympic venue. This is an amazing opportunity to go into the Games the best prepared we can possibly be.

Thanks must go to UK Sport and Lottery Funding, without whom this trip would not be possible. Hand in hand with the World Class support and coaching we receive through British Canoeing, we really do enter into the Olympic year as genuine contenders at the Games. I am proud and incredibly grateful to be part of this amazing team.

I intend to put my heart and sole into every aspect of training in Brazil, maximise every opportunity I can, and come back fitter, stronger and with some vital experience under my belt.

Final selection all comes down to 2 races on the 5th June. Anne Dickens is the competitor I have to beat if I’m going to be the boat that goes to Rio….and what a competitor she is! Anne has medalled at the World Championships for the last 4 years, and I have massive respect for her as a paddler… I’ve not got an easy job on my hand! However, I love a challenge, I truly believe I can do it, and I will be giving above and beyond over the next 6 months to make sure I give this my very best.

Whether you think you can, or you think you cant, you’re probably right” Quote from Author Henry Ford

I know what I think……..











Kelda Reflecting on 2015 & hoping 2016 will be Golden.

Things were looking exciting at the start of the year, however I then got injured, didn’t get selected for the World Championships…..and the prospect of getting selected for the paralympics felt a million miles away! I look back now, and it was a particularly tough time and it made me question a lot of things. However, I often say to people it’s all about the journey that these challenges take you on…..and I came out of it stronger and more determined than ever to do everything I could to be the athlete that I knew I could be.

I was very proud when the coaches told me that I was staying on the Rio pathway, and since September I’ve had a new sense of self belief and purpose. It’s been an incredible journey, and it’s not finished yet!!!! We’re off to Brazil in January for a training camp and then before we know it, it’ll be the world Championships and then straight into the selections for Rio on June 5th. The next 6 months are going to be the ones that really make it count, so it’s time to work harder and be more committed than I’ve ever done in my life before!!!

There are so many people to thank that have played such an important part in making this all happen. First and foremost, the coaches at the High Performance Centre. They do an amazing job and somehow manage to put up with all of us demanding athletes! But none of this could happen without the funding from UK Sport. They provide us with fantastic facilities and really do give us the best chance of being a World Class Squad that leads the rest of the nations.

For me personally I must also thank my sponsors for this year, East Midlands Civil Engineering, The Charter 600 Charity Committee, J and PR, HBP Training and Geoff Ward Film and Photography. Without their support the journey this year could’ve had a very different outcome.

I must also thank Skechers UK for all their help in sourcing and providing suitable training footwear that compensates for the limitations in my ankle, and Brad Snape and Andrew King from One Stop for their support as we move into 2016.

Marc Woods, himself a 5 x Paralympic swimmer, has been like a guardian angel to me over the last 12 months and I can’t thank him enough for all the help and support he’s given me. We all need a “Marc” in our lives and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the benefit of his advice and words of wisdom.

There are going to be so many people to thank when I’m stood on that podium…..and I will be doing everything I can to make them all proud in 2016.

Aside from all the training, I had the pleasure of going up to Wigan to talk to 180 children from St Wilfred’s primary academy. It was an awesome afternoon and I was so impressed with both the school and the amazing energy and enthusiasm from all the children. It went a little bit bonkers when I gave them all a balloon to blow up, representing whatever they might dream of achieving. The idea was that if your balloon bursts, blows away or looses all its air, then that’s ok, it’s all about finding another balloon and working as hard as you can to blow that back up…..don’t worry when things don’t always work out, the important thing is to pick yourself back up and keep going….whether that’s trying to blow that same balloon back up, or whether you just find a new balloon all together. There ended up with a lot of AWOL balloons, but they were an awesome bunch of kids and really got the message I was putting across.

Talking of messages…..below is a link to a short video showing one of the amazing stories from our Climbing Out programmes this year. If ever there was a message to be given, I think this says it all. I’d ask you to please take 2 minutes out of your day to watch the clip.

Well, all that’s left to be said, is to say “I hope you all had a Merry Christmas & wishing you a Happy New Year. Thank you for all the wonderful support you’ve given me throughout 2015…..and let’s hope it’s a very golden 2016!









Kelda shares some exciting news….

Kelda shares some exciting news….

It’s been fantastic news this week to receive confirmation that I have been allocated a place on the British Canoeing Podium Potential Programme and will be placed on Funding Band E in the lead up to Rio next year.

This support through UK Sport and Lottery funding makes a huge difference to my training and the funding they provide enables me to train full time and commit 100% to being the very best I can be. Lottery funding also provides the whole squad with World Class coaching and facilities….we are incredibly lucky and hopefully the impact of their support will be shown in the results in Rio next year. I know the whole squad are incredibly grateful for their support, and for me personally, it makes the difference between it happening and it not! Thank you UK sport!:

Thanks to the additional sponsorship from East Midlands Civil Engineering Ltd, I’m now only £9,000 off reaching my target of £20,000 to fund my training through to Rio next September. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for all the support I’ve received, in so many different ways, and it only drives me harder every day in training!

And training’s been pretty hard!! We’re in a hypertrophy block now, so it’s all about getting strong….so lots of gruelling sessions in the gym! Yes, it’s hard, but I’m slowly making the gains I need to make, and I’m excited about the impact it’ll have on my paddling. It’s only 6 weeks until we leave for the training camp in Bello, Brazil and before we know it, it’ll be time for the World Championships. It’s then only 1 month to go until Rio selections! So there’s no time for slacking, no time to have an ‘easy day’…every session counts!

277 days to go….and I intend to make good use of every single one of them!

It’s been tough trying to keep everything moving with Climbing Out while I’m so focused on training, but we’re in a great position as we move into 2016, with 5 programmes planned for next year all of which are already fully funded. We’ll be running 2 programmes for young people in recovery from cancer, 2 programmes for young Kidney patients and a new programme linking up with Meningitis Now working with young people recovering from Meningitis.

Thanks must go out to Carnegie Great Outdoors who are taking much of the workload off myself while I concentrate on training. Without their support it would’ve been difficult to keep everything running and it’s fantastic that at such a busy time we are managing to reach more young people than ever.

With Christmas just round the corner, we seem to be moving at a break neck speed into 2016 – but what an exciting 2016 it will hopefully be!

Shropshire Disability Network wishes to thank Kelda for her latest blog & wish her all the best. This is her 43rd blog for us, as she shares with us her journey to Rio 2016. We all want to thank her for her commitment & dedication by sharing her inspiring story. Looking forward to the next blog!


Kelda writes- Keeping Things in Perspective

Kelda writes- Keeping Things in Perspective!

It’s been a pretty brutal few weeks of training….and so it should be – we’re talking about the Olympics, not a village fete!!

I’ve pushed myself to my absolute limits over the last couple of weeks, and just when you get to the point that you think you have nothing left, you find a bit more! As my great friend and 5 x paralympian Marc Woods keeps telling me….”that’s where the medals are won!” I’ve had to keep reminding myself of that at those times when my heads gone down and I’ve just wanted to stop….and there’s been quite a few of those I can tell you!!!

But the awesome thing is, when you keep pushing through, in time, the gains start to happen. I’m feeling a little broken but strong, and I’m excited about the impact that all this will have on my paddling.

I’ve set myself some pretty ambitious goals for 2016, but I’ve got a new found confidence about making them happen!

Sometimes you can become a little bit obsessed and all consumed in training, but last Friday I was able to put things very much back into perspective.

Award winners Chelsy Dixon and Molly Evans with Stephen Sutton's mum, Jane

Award winners Chelsy Dixon and Molly Evans with Stephen Sutton’s mum, Jane

I attended the Midlands Children of Courage Awards, where two young people from Climbing Out had been nominated for awards.

It was an amazing evening with so many inspiring and incredible stories. I was so proud of all the young people that attended the awards to support Chelsey Dixon and Molly Evans, the two girls nominated. The friendship and support that was so evident between all of the young people was something very special to see and made me realise just how much long term impact Climbing Out is having on the lives of the young people we work with.

It was a very special evening, with Molly winning “Fundraiser of the Year” and Chelsey winning the “Stephen Sutton Award”.

Chelsey’s award meant so much, not just to Chelsey, but to all of the young people attending. Many of them had known Stephen before he died, and in the past they’d often talked to me about him and I could always tell how much they thought of him.

For Chelsey to win the award in his memory was a very special moment, and I know how much it meant to all the young people to talk with Stephens mother at the end of the evening. Thank you to The St James’s Place Foundation for hosting such a special night.

Gold medals of course play a massive part in my own personal journey at the minute, but when you meet such inspirational young people and appreciate the challenges they’ve overcome and the incredible things they’ve achieved, it really does keep your feet on the ground.

Yes, medals are important, and I’ll be doing my utmost to make that happen, but let’s never forget to keep things in perspective.




Kelda writes- Some good news….at last! I’m back on track for Rio.

Kelda writes- Some good news….at last! I”m back on track for Rio!

We’re straight back into the thick of training now….and it hurts! But as the old saying goes “No pain, no gain!”

We’re working hard, but it’s all been worth it! This week I’ve had the news I’ve been waiting for…..they’ve decided to take me forward as the GB 2nd  boat and I’m currently on the list to go to the training camp in Brazil in January! This is a huge stepping stone for me and makes all the up’s and downs on the last few months worth every ounce of digging deep that it’s taken to keep going.

I’m now back on track for Rio…it’s not going to be easy, and there’s a great deal of hard work, discipline and sweaty sessions to come over the winter if I’m going to get where I know I can go. But it’s happening – and that is all I needed to know!

I’m paddling well and feeling strong – it’s also given me a huge confidence boost to know that the coaches believe in me. It’s one thing to convince yourself that you believe you can do it, but to have the backing of the coaches means a massive amount to me. I can feel the difference in my approach to training since they told me of their decision. I’ve got everything to play for now, I feel part of the squad and I’m going to be giving it everything…… and then a bit more… come out in the spring ready to challenge the GB first boat.

I’ve now handed in my notice at Battle Back for the next 12 months so I can concentrate on training full time…that may be a little brave (or maybe stupid) as I still haven’t raised the sponsorship I need – but hey, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I have no intention of letting it slip me by. I’ll make things work somehow!

Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t…you’re probably right.”

I believe I can!!

It’s bizarre for “believing” to be so relevant to my own journey right now – on Friday night I was lucky enough to be invited as the guest speaker at the Wigan Sports Awards. The theme for the evening was “Believe” – so it fitted in perfectly with my story!

It was an amazing night and I met some incredible people, I felt very privileged to get the opportunity to talk to a room full of so much support. It was touching, and very inspiring, to speak to people afterwards and realise how much they could relate to my own journey. I felt slightly embarrassed when people said how inspired they’d been by my story, but actually, what I take away from the evening, is just how powerful sport can be, and if the ripple effect of my own journey can then help others, then that is a truly fantastic thing.

I received this message on face book the following evening….

Your story last night at Wigan helped inspire my 11 old daughter Nicole to a Silver medal, in the British indoor freestyle Snowboarding championship today, even after getting to bed at midnight, thank you”

This just blew me away, and means nearly as much as any Gold medal…but the biggest congratulations go to Nicole – if she chose to take on board some of what I said on Friday night and use it to spur her on in her competition then that is full credit to her, especially at just 11yrs old! A true champion in the making!:-)

A massive congratulations must go out to all the awards winners and nominees who were all making remarkable achievements. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with them all. Congratulations must also go to Wigan SDU for organising such a fantastic night.

So, now it’s back to believing in my own journey, getting my head down and making it happen…..if Nicole can do it, then so can I!





Kelda writes- Sponsorship to help me do this, and the reaction from people has just blown me away.

Kelda writes-Sponsorship to help me do this, and the reaction from people has just blown me away.

Let the Countdown Begin!

Well, the 3 week break is nearly over….and that means we’re about to start the season that will culminate in the Paralympics next year! That’s an incredibly exciting thought….but a pretty scary one too!

It’s time to focus 100% on Rio. Everything I do, think, eat and sleep will be with Rio in mind.

I’ve been working hard throughout the break trying to secure support and sponsorship to help me do this, and the reaction from people has just blown me away. is supporting me with off the water performance coaching. They’re helping me with my mental approach to the sport and racing, and I’m excited about the impact their coaching will have on my performance. I‘ve only just started working with Phil Kelly and Phil Quirk, master coaches with HBP, but I’m already feeling the benefits of the work we’re doing. I’m incredibly grateful for the support they are giving me. (www.HBP-NLP.COM)

J&PR Ltd are also supporting me with PR and marketing. They run a full service Public Relations agency based in Shropshire and will be supporting me throughout the 12 months leading up to Rio. Raising awareness about my journey will play a vital part in generating further sponsorship (which will be my only way to survive now I’ve taken a year out from work!), so again, I am incredibly grateful for J and PR’s support.

East Midlands Civil Engineering Ltd is a Midlands based contractor with considerable experience in roads, sewers and ground works. They have sponsored me with £1,000 of financial support, a massive help now I have committed to training full time. The money will go directly towards training costs, so again this support will big a big help in enabling me to deliver the best performance possible next year.

For further information about East Midlands Civil Engineering you can visit their website

A big shout out must also go to Geoff Ward film and photography. It’s the film that Geoff kindly put together that has lead onto much of this additional sponsorship, so a big thank you to him.

People say “teamwork makes the dream work”, well blimey, I’m feeling some team behind me at the minute! The support people have given me has been simply incredible and I feel very very lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.

Talking of amazing people….having a 3 week break gave me the opportunity to go up to the Lake district to help run our very first Climbing Out Level 2 programme. And you couldn’t meet a more amazing bunch of young people than the ones we had right there! The programme was for young people who had already attended one of our 5 day programmes, and to see how much they’d all grown in confidence and developed since they’re first programme was something very special to be part of.

The atmosphere, friendships, support, banter and willingness to be challenged throughout the week was inspiring, and to stand back and watch the guys take ownership, make decisions, run activities and support each other is something I will never forget.

The most fantastic thing is that we’re developing a team that can continue to deliver the Climbing Out programmes long after I’m too old and decrepit to be doing it any more! They in turn, can then develop a team to keep it going when they move onto other things.

In doing this, we are creating something that will have real longevity, and will continue to affect the lives of young people long into the future.

And if we’re looking at challenges….October is going to be a month full of them for me!

I start with performance testing next week – where I intend to smash the backside out of everything that’s asked of me!!:-) The following weekend I’m off to race in a regatta with Warwick Sprint Canoe Club, a great opportunity to challenge myself and see if I can put right what went wrong in September.

On October 7th I have my formal review where I will be fighting hard for my place on the squad, then on the 9th I’m off to the Wigan Sports Awards to be their guest speaker for the evening. This will be a very different challenge to the physical ones of the weeks before, but one I am looking forward to all the same!

On the 15th October I’m being interviewed on Big Centre TV, then on the 23rd I’m attending the Midlands Children of Courage Awards to say a few words about Climbing Out, and hopefully see 2 of our participants pick up awards for which they’ve been nominated. A busy month, but an exciting one too!

Aside from all of that I’m going to be working harder than ever in the gym, on the water and in my mental preparation for the coming season. There’s everything to play for as we start the final 12 months to Rio.

360 days to go and counting………














Kelda Writes -Is it Enough?

So the season officially ended for us last Saturday with our final regatta of the year. As I’d mentioned in my last blog, this was my ultimate chance to prove to the coaches that I was capable of delivering under pressure, and I could transfer what I’d been producing in training in a race.

Yet again I was reminded that this isn’t a fairly tale, and the nature of sport can be pretty harsh!

I produced an average performance, finishing 4th in my heat in a time of 56 seconds. This qualified me for the B final, where I again did a time of 56 secs. This is a mediocre time, nothing special, nothing horrendous…..but what it didn’t do was prove what I knew I was capable of. I’ve been delivering consistently times of 53/54 secs over the last few weeks, but I allowed myself to get distracted, and this showed in my race.

I’m more annoyed with myself than anything….this was my chance to show them what I can do and I messed up. I let myself down from a mental perspective, I failed to get focused before the race and this put me in a position that I was easily distracted in the race. Over 200m you just can’t afford to do that!

However, I’ve been able to reflect on my performance and I know it was yet another massive step in the learning curve. I will NEVER let that happen again, and I believe there is a lot of work I can do myself, with my coach and with our team psych to help me with this and make sure I don’t loose that focus when it comes to racing next year.

Unfortunately I didn’t do enough to leave the coaches with no questions about my potential for next year.  I now have to wait until the formal reviews in October to find out their decision on my funding and whether I will go to the training camp in Brazil in January. Nothing like drawing out the agony!!!!

I see the Brazil training camp as a vital step in the preparation for Rio so I’m keeping every little bit of me crossed that they believe in me enough to take me along. However, if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world, and it’ll be time to pick myself up, brush myself down and keep fighting…..again!!

It’s less than 9 months now until the selection regatta that decides who will be in the boat that goes to Rio. As soon as we return to training on the 28th September it’s going to be full on, with every athlete on the squad having their focus on that regatta and the Paralympics 3 months later.

It makes my stomach churn when I think of what’s to come over the next few months….it’s exciting, but daunting at the same time.

I watched an incredible film at the weekend called “Unbroken”. It’s a true story about an Olympic athlete called Louis Zamperini that ends up fighting in World War 2. He gets captured by the Japanese Navy and is sent to a Prisoner of War camp. He endures some brutal treatment,  but shows a remarkable strength of character and resilience to survive.

When he was an athlete, his brother said to him “If you can take it, you can make it” and it was these words that kept him going.

I had to have a little word with myself… no matter what happens in October, I will take their decision, and I will take whatever the next 9 months throws at me. If I can do that, train hard and stay focused,  then I will give myself the very best chance of being the one that makes it!








Kelda writes- The squad that travelled out to Milan did an awesome job

The squad that travelled to Milan, World Championships did an awesome job. 4 Spots Qualified for Rio including Emma Wiggins pictured.

After not being selected for the Worlds, it’s not been the easiest of times, but I’ve had to get my head down, stay focused and try and stay positive.

The good news is, the week before the squad left for Milan, I managed to hit that target time of sub 54 seconds….and I did it twice! This was a great boost for me, and will hopefully show the coaches that I’m absolutely still in the game for Rio.

The squad that travelled out to Milan for the World Championships did an awesome job and returned home with 2 Golds, 5 silvers and most importantly 4 spots qualified for the Paralympics next year.

There were some amazing efforts from team mates and their performances pays credit to how hard they’ve all been training throughout the season. I was sat in the GB canoeing office, watching the results as they came in, and I was proud to be part of such a strong team.

However, other nations are getting stronger too, and GB didn’t dominate the championships as they have done in the past. I think this is a real lesson to us all for next year….we can’t afford to be complacent, and the other nations seem to have really upped their game. We’re all going to have to be set for some seriously hard work this winter if we’re to keep sight of those Gold medals.

It’s been a tough few weeks for me and things haven’t worked out as I’d hoped, but, I firmly believe I’ve come out of it a stronger, more determined athlete. I’ve proved both on the water and in the gym that I’m making significant gains, and there’s still much more to come!

All that’s left for this season is to now deliver a solid performance in the last regatta of the season next weekend. After that, I’ll have done everything I can possibly do, and it will all come down to the decisions of the coaches and the performance team in October when they meet to allocate funding and places for the Rio training camp in January.

I’ve given it everything, hopefully that’ll be enough for them to still consider me an important part of the squad.

I haven’t had too much time for anything else other than training over the last few weeks, but Climbing Out has run 4 amazing programmes and helped over 60 young people. We’ve one more programme to go in 2015, and the impact on the lives of young people has been simply incredible. Below are the words written by one young lady after attending a Climbing Out programme.

Less than a year ago, I couldn’t walk because a soft tissue and bone cancer called Parasteal Osteosarcoma had taken away my ability to live without aid. Yet a couple of days ago I climbed a mountain in the Lake District. Yes, it hurt, but I wasn’t prepared to let that stop me. Granted, on the way back down I had assistance the full way because my balance is still atrocious, but I DID IT!

Thank you Climbing Out, without your charity I wouldn’t have realised my capabilities and I certainly wouldn’t be beginning to be proud of myself.

You have undeniably and categorically changed my views on life and my attitude towards the world and helped me battle my disorders. Most of all though – the people I met and had the honour of being surrounded by, inspired me when my depression attacked me, motivated me when my mind told me I couldn’t, comforted me when my depression abused me, relied on me when they needed help, respected me, cared for me, and saved my life” Shannon

I’m also incredibly proud to say that 2 young people from Climbing Out have been short listed for the Midlands Children of Courage Awards.

Chelsey Dixon and Molly Evans are both remarkable young ladies, who were diagnosed with cancer at 17yrs and 15yrs respectively. They have showed amazing courage to overcome the challenges they have faced and are both are so deserving of this recognition.

The awards night is on October 23rd, and I’ll be there to support them both and hopefully see them pick up the coveted trophy.

Well, it’s just one week to go until we have a 3 week break from training….and I have to admit, I’m more than ready for that break! However, I won’t be sitting on my bum for too long…..we have performance testing the first 2 days back on the 28thand 29thSept, and I still have a point to prove! So, it might be a break from full training, but I intend to keep working hard and to go back refreshed and ready to show them what I’m made of. It’s gonna be all eyes on Rio!!


Kelda writes- 18 amazing young people all in recovery from cancer had the most incredible week…

Well, I haven’t the exciting news I was hoping to tell you…but it’s still good!

18 amazing young people all in recovery from cancer had the most incredible week on last weeks Climbing Out programme and achieved so much more than they could ever have expected. Something magical really does happen on the programmes….to see 2 visually impaired girls merrily throwing themselves off a bridge into the river below showed true trust, friendship ….and shear guts! The support that the young people give each other throughout the week brings something truly special to the programmes and I know many of them will have become life long friends.

It was also fantastic to see 2 of our previous participants returning to volunteer as support staff for the week – and what an amazing job they did too! They really did add something very special to the programme and were a real example and inspiration to the young people. I am very, very proud of them both. Well done to everyone involved over the whole week.

While the young people were up in the Lake district facing all the different challenges the instructors threw at them, I was working hard on my own challenges on the water. I did PB again this week, although only by a fraction of a second…..but hey, I’ll take what I can get at the minute! I’ve still got to get just over a second quicker if I’m going to hit the target I need to hit by September… time to get my head down and just keep paddling!

While the young people were up in the Lake district facing all the different challenges the instructors threw at them, I was working hard on my own challenges on the water. I did PB again this week, although only by a fraction of a second…..but hey, I’ll take what I can get at the minute! I’ve still got to get just over a second quicker if I’m going to hit the target I need to hit by September… time to get my head down and just keep paddling!

The short film that Geoff Ward film and photography very kindly put together for me has now been finished and I must say a big thank you to Geoff for all his efforts. I’m hoping it might now generate some interest in sponsorship – fingers crossed! I’ve included the link below, so hopefully it might give you a bit of a clearer idea exactly what I’m doing too!

I find it all I little embarrassing, but hey, they say God loves a trier….well he must bloomin’ love me!!!

The rest of the squad all leave for the World Championships in Milan next weekend. I’d wish them luck, but I know they don’t need any luck….they’ve all been training so hard, are fighting fit and will be giving it everything to bring back a real medal hall.

GO TEAM GB!!!!!!









Kelda writes- I also have to say a big thank you to Geoff Ward film and Photography….

After the setback of not being selected for the World Championships, I’ve eventually got my head around things, and I’ve come back feeling stronger and more determined than ever.….and it’s working!! I’ve hit a PB (Personal Best) for the last 3 weeks and I’m now just over 1 second off the time I need to hit by September to stay on the pathway to Rio.

It just shows how sometimes, when things don’t work out, it can actually be for the best. Would I have the same fire in my belly if I’d been selected for the Worlds? I really don’t know!

I’m training hard, and pushing myself more than ever – I’ve a point to prove and I’m determined to do that!!! I’ve finally got the weight up on my bench press too!!!! I have to go sub 54 seconds by September to stay on the programme. This is 105% of the Gold Medal time and I believe this time is well within my grasp, ….I’ll be sure to post it here as soon as I achieve it!!:-)

There’s been some developments regarding possible sponsorship too…..I’m trying hard not to get excited, but again, I’ll be posting it here as soon as there’s anything confirmed! The suspense keeps growing!!!!:-)

I also have to say a big thank you to Geoff Ward film and Photography. Geoff kindly offered to put a short promotional film together to help me in my mission of raising the funds to enable me to train full time leading up to the Paralympics next year.

Geoff spent the day on Friday attaching various cameras to by boat, paddle and head(!!) and got some amazing footage. He’s put together a fantastic piece that I think really shows how much this all means to me. I am incredibly grateful to him for his support….there needs to be more people like Geoff in the world!:-)

On top of all of this, it’s been an incredibly busy time for Climbing Out. We’ve got 3 programmes running over 5 weeks working with nearly 50 young people. We’ve been able to offer places to young people in recovery from cancer, kidney disease, and for the first time we’ve been able to offer places to 2 visually impaired girls. It still blows me away to see the impact the programmes have on the young people and the achievements they all make. It is inspiring to see, and the friendship and support they give each other is something very special.

It’s been very strange for me not attending all the programmes this year because of my commitments with training, but we have an awesome team of staff and instructors who are doing an amazing job….such a good job that I’m starting to feel a little unneeded!:-(

I’m hoping for an eventful week….with the Climbing Out programme running in the Lake District with 17 young people in recovery from cancer, news should arrive about the potential sponsorship, the film should be finished and ready for promoting…..and I’ve a time trail on Friday where I have every intention of giving it my all and aiming to get that time of sub 54 seconds!!

Find out if it all happened in my next blog!:-)