The Rivertime Accessible Regatta – Speech from Esme O’Connell

At the 2nd Rivertime Accessible Regatta at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre for children and young people with disabilities, guests were invited to listen to World Para Athletics Junior Championships Gold Medalist Esme O’Connell.

The event held on Wednesday 13th June saw children from 23 SEN schools from 5 counties in a unique chance to get out on the water in a safe controlled environment and try a new sport or activity they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do.  Esme’s speech told us that anything is possible with her attitude of “I can do it!” and hopefully this will inspire many of her peers at the event.

Currently in Year 11 studying at Alfriston School a moderate learning school where she finds school work difficult she has found her passion in sport.  She treats everything as a challenge even though it may be difficult she says ‘I can do that!’

Her teachers throughout schooling have encouraged her to take part in lots of sports and trained her to become a sports leader.  Her family have been very encouraging to take part in out of school sport too.  Her main events currently are Sprint & Long Jump.

Her achievements include becoming last years National Champion in U/18 100m and U/18 200m but her best achievement is why she was wearing a GB Kit.  Esme was selected to represent GB in 2017 World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland where she won Gold in U/18 T20 Long Jump event which she is extremely proud of.

Her sentiments resounded with her audience and showed that although the day was to be enjoyed as a fun event you never know what an opportunity can lead to.

Disability Today were delighted to meet Esme in person and wish her every success in the future.  If you would like to read more about her endeavours please see her website







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