I have decided to retire from ski racing to focus on my career in motivational speaking, mentoring, youth work and media.
I made make my media debut reporting on the struggles many athletes face in retirement, on BBC Midlands Today on Wednesday 21st January 2015, 9 years to the day after becoming paralysed.
I feel honored to have overcome considerable challenges to represent GB at a world class level despite. I could not have achieved any of it without my sponsors, fundraisers, friends and family. Thank you to everyone who has made it possible, I competed as an individual but my success has very much been a team effort.
I aim to continue to inspire and support others to achieve their potential.
Intense training in New Zealand proved useful for GB as we competed in the World Cups in Thredbo, Australia. Mick Brennan and I both won bronze in the Giant Slalom and I was pleased to take another bronze in Slalom, although couldn’t beat the Americans, this time.
Conditions were trickily soft due to the hot weather and unfortunately the second slalom had to be cancelled. The Australians did well to run any races at all.
Thank you to my sponsors and supporters, particularly to MacuShield UK, Bridgestone, McDonald’s, Strakka Racing and Hackleton Primary School who made this trip possible thanks to sterling fundraising efforts! I couldn’t do it without you.
Both Mick and I are thrilled with our first World Cup medals. The team is now training in Wanaka, New Zealand until the end of September, in preparation for an important season ahead.
I met the children and staff of Hackleton Primary School, Northamptonshire last summer when I launched the ‘Be the Best you can Be’ Project for 21st Century Legacy, but I had no idea that they really are the best!
The school decided to secretly raise funds to help cover my training costs but was broken into in March and £350 was stolen. However, the children had taken the be the best you can be message to heart and were determined not to be beaten. They went all out to raise more money and presented me with a check for over £5000 last week!
I was overwhelmed and had to fight back the tears – I have wonderful support since breaking my back 7 years ago but this is something else! I cannot believe their monumental fundraising achievement!
Funds raised will help cover my paralympic ski training costs. I am travelling to New Zealand to train with the British Disabled Ski Team in August and the funds will pay for my flights, accommodation, coaching and race fees.
Backing like this does more than just help pay the costs, it really spurs me on to be the best I can be!