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Meet William Sharman

Sport
110m Hurdles.

Achievements
5th, Daegu World Championships 2011.
Silver, Commonwealth Games 2010.
Gold, National Championships 2010.
4th, Berlin World Championships 2009.

 

Back story
William Sharman made his TeamGB debut in 2006 at the European Championships after a number of strong races and a personal best of 13:49 at the AAA under-23 competition. In 2007, he moved to Loughborough where he began studying for a Master’s degree in Finance and Banking and began training under the well-respected Polish coach, George Macieuvitch.

2007 and 2008 saw him competing to take the number one spot in the UK, and make the senior team for the major Championships.

William made his most decisive break through on the international athletics stage when he placed a close 4th at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin with a personal best of 13:30.  His success during 2009 can be seen with him going from being 103rd in the World rankings to 31st prior to the World Championships to missing gold by just 0.16 of a second.

In 2010 William won a Silver medal in Delhi at the Commonwealth Games. In 2011 he came 3rd in 2011 he came 5th in the Daegu World Championship. William has recently joined up with new coach, Malcolm Arnold, who led Colin Jackson to great success.

Personal
Outside of athletic William has a diverse range of talents, he plays the cornet, is a classically trained pianist, has a university degree in Economics and a Masters in Banking and Finance. William comes from a family of sportsmen, his father played rugby union for Northampton Saints and his brother competed in the World Bobsleigh Championships for Britain. He has recently married  Lyna, his long term partner and mother of his first son Joshua.

Website www.williamsharman.com

Meet Stefanie Reid

Sport
Paralympic T44 100m/ 200m and F44 long-jump

Achievements
Bronze in the Long Jump and 200m, IPC World Championships 2011.
Long Jump World Record holder 2010.
200m Bronze medal, BT Paralympic World Cup 2010 (Team GB).
200m Bronze medal, Beijing Paralympic Games 2008 (Team Canada).

Back story
Stefanie grew up as an active, sporty teenager. She was passionate about rugby and planned to join the national team. But at 16, her life changed forever when she lost part of her leg in a boating accident.

After a long road to recovery, during which she turned her attention to education and other hobbies such as drama, she returned to sports. One day whilst studying at Queen’s University, Ontario her passion for sports was rekindled as she watched a track and field practice.

Upon joining the team she had to learn everything from scratch, including how to use her new running prosthesis. Despite not making the team initially, she persisted with training, and by her fourth year at Queen’s she was competing for the varsity team.

Personal
Her favourite quote from the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, is etched onto her running prosthetic: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Stefanie, who grew up in Toronto after her dad emigrated, won bronze for Canada in the 200m at the Beijing Paralympics. In 2009 Stef decided to change allegiance to GB and is now fully integrated into the GB team. She divides her time between training in the UK and Dallas so she can spend time with her husband Canadian wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos whom she married in 2008.

Stefanie is an academic scholar and has a degree in biochemistry and is currently studying for a Masters in Nutrition. She has a great sense of humour and recounts the fact that she has a cupboard full of legs for every occasion – including a water leg, a high-heel leg, an everyday leg, a general sports leg and a cheetah leg, which she wears for competitions.

Website www.paralympians.com

Meet Shelly Woods

Sport
Wheelchair racing (T12-L1)

Achievements
Current World record holder in the 1500m.
Current British record holder in the 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and marathon.
Second in the London Marathon 2011.
Bronze in the 5000m, IPC World Championships 2011.
Winner in the Great Manchester Run – 2005, 2009, 2010.
Second in the New York City Marathon, 2009.
Silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 5000m, Beijing Paralympic Games 2008.
Winner in the Great North Run – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011.

Back story
Shelly Woods is one of Britain’s top wheelchair racers, and she currently holds the British records in the 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and marathon.

Shelly suffered a spinal cord injury after falling from a tree when she was 11 years old. She was always an active youngster and after her accident she decided to sample a few sports such as wheelchair basketball and swimming but she enjoyed wheelchair athletics the most.

In 2004 at only 18 years of age Shelly started to make a name for herself with some exceptional performances in road races – second in the Great North Run, second in the Manchester Run and first in the Mini London Marathon setting a new course record.

After her achievements on the road, Shelly tried track racing in the 800m, 1500m and 5000m and in her first season on track was selected to represent Great Britain. In 2005 Shelly continued to progress rapidly winning the Great North Run and finishing second in the Great Manchester Run and the London Marathon. She was the first British athlete to cross the finish line in all these events.

Not only excelling on the road, Shelly also had good performances on track, winning bronze at the European Championships in the 5000m.

In 2007 Shelly won the Los Angeles marathon, the London Marathon and the NYC 10km and paved the way to her performance at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing where she competed in more events than any other female athlete, coming away with a silver in the 1500m and a bronze in the 5000m.

She finished 2009 ranked World No. 1 on the track for the 5000m and claimed second place in the New York City Marathon. Throughout 2010 Shelly has become increasingly faster, even managing to break Tanni Grey-Thompson’s long standing British Record in the 400m.

Personal
Shelly lives in Blackpool with her fiancé and in her spare time works with her local council to talk to secondary school children about what it’s like to be an elite athlete. She is an inspiration to all ages and supports Stoke Mandeville Hospital where much of her rehabilitation took place. Shelly supports “Get the Kids Going”, the charity that raised enough money for her first ever racing chair.

Shelly speaks highly of her family who have played a huge part in supporting her throughout her recover and encouraging her dreams of Gold in 2012.

Website www.shellywoods.com