Article, photos & video created by Write On! for #C4PopUp – Ciara Cohen-Ennis, Hannah Hughes, Tamsin Dykstra, Alex Gray & Matthew Young
The excitement of the 2016 Olympic Games radiates from the walls of SportWales HQ in Cardiff. Still reeling from the silver medal triumph that is water-baby Jazz Carling; SportWales has created momentum for its sister organisation, Disability Sport Wales.
Within the next two weeks, Disability Sport Wales will transport its 12 Welsh Superhumans to Rio to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games. Its humble beginnings rooted in the celebration of WWII veterans, the Paralympic Games are a demonstration of what determination and tenacity can achieve.
With such an emphasis on the Welsh Paralympians travelling to Rio, what benefits does the Paralympics bring to Wales?
Nia Jones, who works in the community programme with Disability Sport Wales told ‘Write On!’ that having ‘brilliant role models pushed the spotlight on disability sport and gets younger people into clubs and participating [in sport]’. They have certainly been successful in achieving these goals considering that in the 2012 Paralympic Games, Disability Sports Wales supported 24 of the 38 Welsh Paralympians. ‘if Wales had competed as a nation in London 2012 games then in terms of medals per head, Wales would have been the most successful nation.’
Beverly Lewis, Executive of Welsh Triathlon says that ‘we have very strong athletes, probably one of the strongest teams out there’. Sara Head, Bronze table tennis medalist in the London 2012 Paralympics looks to continue her success in Rio along side teammate Thomas Matthews. Once again the Welsh athletes are set to make their mark at the Paralympic Games.
Ciara Cohen-Ennis is a journalist at ITV Wales with an interest in social affairs. She produces news bulletins, reports and self-shoots. Ciara has also done an attachment with the current affairs programme ITV Wales This Week as a producer, director and camera operator.
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