30 Aug 2012
The London 2012 Paralympic Games have started and with tickets selling out it looks set to be every bit as exciting as the London 2012 Olympic Games.
As the county celebrates the success of our Team Essex Ambassadors (TEAs) Laura Trott, Saskia Clark and Chloe Rogers bringing home 2 Golds, a Silver and a Bronze medal, there are a group of athletes who can’t let their hair down and celebrate just yet – Team Essex Ambassadors Daniel Bentley of Great Dunmow, Emma Hollis of Harlow and Hannah Stodel of West Mersea who are still in training for their Paralympic Dream.
Essex County Councilor Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for Education, Life Long Learning and the 2012 Games said: “We are all incredibly proud of Daniel, Emma and Hannah and look forward to seeing them achieve Paralympic success, something Daniel has already achieved having won Gold at Beijing in 2008. I am sure that Essex residents will embrace the Paralympics in the same way as they did the Olympics and cheer our amazing Team Essex Ambassadors onto victory.”
We are hoping that sailor Hannah will emulate our other TEA, and fellow Mersea Islander, Saskia Clark, when she takes to the water. Hannah has had a busy year already coming 1st in the Paralympic World Cup, and 1st in the Sail for Gold Olympic Regatta. She has worked with London 2012 delivering Equality and Diversity training for Contractors at the Olympic Venues and with wounded servicemen in their rehabilitation programmes encouraging them to participate in Paralympic sport and organising sailing events for them.
Emma is a student at Loughborough University where she was selected as the first disability swimmer to swim with the prestigious university team. Last year saw her claim two world records at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Short Course Swimming Championships in Sheffield. Emma along with her brother James will be competing – making them the first brother and sister Paralympic swimmers.
Daniel, who is already a medal holder after winning a Boccia team Gold at Beijing, has remained part of Team GB competing at European and World Championships as well as completing his degree at Portsmouth University.
Other athletes with Essex connections competing in the London 2012 Paralympic Games to look out for are:
Rob Womack Paralympics GB (Athletics – F55 Shot Putt) Dewsbury Southend on Sea
James Hollis Paralympics GB (Disability Swimming) Harlow Theydon Bois, Epping Loughton
Natalie Jones Paralympics GB (Disability Swimming) Colchester Trains in Manchester
Anna Sharkey Paralympics GB (Goalball) Southend on Sea
Louise Simpson Paralympics GB (Goalball) Southend on Sea
Crystal Lane Track Cycling Chelmsford
Zoe Newson Paralympics GB (Powerlifting) Colchester
Adam Fontain Paralympics GB (Shooting) Basildon
Jonathan Coggan Paralympics GB (Wheelchair Rugby) South Woodham Ferrers South Woodham Ferrers
The Team Essex Ambassador Awards are the top tier of a comprehensive funding package provided by Essex County Council and supported by Southend on Sea Borough Council to support athletes with talent. The grant aid is specifically for Essex athletes who have been identified with the potential to compete at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The scheme has run for four years and has awarded 27 athletes a £6,500 bursary to help with the costs of training and competing at the highest level. Read more about the Team Essex Ambassador's Award>>