Par­a­lympic gold medal­list So­phie spurs on stu­dents

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS -

PAR­A­LYMPIC Gold medal­list So­phie Thorn­hill told young women at King’s Girls Divi­sion they had to fight for the right to equal­ity.

Speak­ing as the lat­est in a se­ries of mo­ti­va­tional speak­ers re­veal­ing the se­crets of their suc­cess, So­phie, from Poyn­ton, said: “Just as a vis­ually im­paired ath­lete I have had to fight to over­come a sta­tis­ti­cal dis­ad­van­tage then as women we all have to fight to gain equal­ity.

“De­spite the im­prove­ments won by for­mer gen­er­a­tions of women, sta­tis­tics show that women are still dis­ad­van­taged in the work place and the only way to gain is equal­ity, just as the only way to win gold, is to work hard.

“What ever dis­ad­van­tage you face, race: gen­der, re­li­gion, colour, phys­i­cal abil­ity; hard work is the key to suc­cess.”

Power house So­phie, 20, and who has only eight per cent vi­sion, is a dou­ble world cham­pion, a dou­ble Com­mon­wealth gold medal­list and won a gold and bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Par­a­lympics.

She has also won nine medals at the UCI Parac-cyling Track World Cham­pi­onships, win­ning three golds in the 2017 com­pe­ti­tion in Los An­ge­les ear­lier this year.

So­phie and her pi­lot Cor­rine Hall won in the Tan­dem B 3km pur­suit, Tan­dem B 1km time trial and the Tan­dem B sprint. She said: “I have achieved my dream in Rio but I will be try­ing just as hard to win Tokyo.”

Fel­low cy­clist Ffy­ona Booker, who is a for­mer medal win­ning na­tional cy­clo-cross spe­cial­ist, said: “It was amaz­ing to have such an in­spi­ra­tional speaker tell us about just what is needed to reach the top, es­pe­cially as she has achieved so much in such a short time from leav­ing school.”

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