A true inspiration
The last time we caught up with UIA-sponsored swimmer Amy Marren, 18, she was preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio. Fast forward 12 months and we’re extremely proud to be talking to a bronze medal-winning Paralympian. She saw off the competition to proudly claim her place on the podium in the 200 metre individual medley.
A career highlight
Talking exclusively to UIA, she said: “Rio was a great experience; I really enjoyed it. It was four years’ worth of hard work and the thing that you strive towards as an athlete – just to get on that podium. When I went into the finals, I didn’t care what medal I won, as long as I won one! I was so relieved afterwards that all I did in the interview was cry.
“The Paralympics was the pinnacle of my career and it was great to be part of the GB team as a whole. It’s definitely up there as a career highlight.”
Back on home soil, Amy went straight from Rio to starting a Geography and Sports Management degree at Loughborough University. She said: “Loughborough is known for its sport, so I’m training with elite athletes, which is keeping me motivated.”
Looking to the future, Amy is now training for the qualification rounds of the IPC World Swimming Championships, to be held in October. “Rio has definitely reignited my passion for swimming,” she says. “I’m going to take each year as it comes but I want to keep progressing.” In the meantime, she’d like to thank all her friends, family and supporters for their ongoing encouragement.
She said: “When we were in Rio, the team were in their own little bubble and we didn’t know what was going on in the UK and how much coverage we were getting. It was really nice to come home to so many well-wishers. It was my first taste of having a public profile.
“I’d also like to say a huge thanks to UIA for their ongoing support. Without your help I wouldn’t be able to afford to train, go to competitions or even get my swimsuits, so a huge thank you to everyone.”
Supporting British talent
As well as supporting swimmer Amy Marren, we’re proud at UIA to sponsor Jack Thomas – one of the rising stars of British skeleton racing. Jack, 26, from Bolton, recently took part in the 2016-17 World Cup Circuit alongside Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold, and now has his sights on the Winter Olympics Games 2018.
We were delighted to receive this letter from Jack...
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the £1,000 you gave me to support my Olympic journey. The money has been spent on a new set of runners (the steel on the bottom of my sled). Thank you so much.” - Jack Thomas
Giving a helping hand
In 2016, the UIA Charitable Foundation donated £54,000 to good causes across the UK. The foundation was set up in 2001 to provide financial support to charities close to the hearts of the committee, trade union partners and staff. Some of the causes to benefit in 2016 include: War on Want, a charity which fights global poverty; TRACKS Autism, a charity helping young people with autism; the Sue Ryder Neurological Centre; and Banana Link, a charity which raises awareness of the poor living and working conditions faced by banana and pineapple producers in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean.
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