Tokyo 2020

Northampton’s pool of ParalympicGB talent inspires new generation

Maisie Summers-Newton’s gold medal-winning performance in the pool at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics has been celebrated at a National Lottery-hosted event in her hometown.

Maisie won gold in the SM6 200m individual medley and set a new world record of 2:56.68 in the process. The 19-year-old’s achievement was celebrated at an event at Northampton Swimming Club attended by 3-time Paralympic gold medallist Oliver Hynd designed to demonstrate the power of Paralympic sport to inspire, break down barriers, shift perceptions and increase opportunities for all disabled people.

Oliver was joined by Jane Nickerson, the CEO of Swim England and Andy Sharp, Head Coach of Northampton Swimming Club. Members of the Northampton club also took part.

A total of 4 ParalympicsGB swimmers – Maisie, Ellie Robinson, Zara Mullooly and William Perry – all hail from Northampton Swimming Club and the quartet is inspiring the next generation to get in the pool and give the sport a go.

Oliver, 26, said, “I think the power of sport and the Paralympics is inspiring people and making positive changes to people’s lives. Events like today allow those opportunities to inspire the next generation, and what with Northampton having Maisie, Ellie, Zara and William, we’ve got a really strong showing in Tokyo.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to try to inspire that next generation coming through and the support from The National Lottery has really made a real difference.”

Jane said, “Events like this are really important because this is the grassroots and where it all starts. These clubs inspire other children who can see what can be achieved regardless of disability, so we’re offering opportunities during the Paralympics for children to come along and have a go to see if they like it.”

The support made possible by National Lottery players is vital to the success not only of ParalympicsGB, but also community swimming initiatives.

Andy Sharp has coached all 4 of ParalympicsGB’s Northampton-based swimmers. He said, “It’s pretty amazing for a club of our size to have 4 people from a single club. It’s been the talk of the club over the last few months and the athletes in Tokyo are going to inspire our youngsters to do great things when they’re older.”

National Lottery players provide vital support to ParalympicsGB athletes and a host of community activities that get more people into swimming. If you’ve been inspired by ParalympicsGB athletes visit www.parasport.org.uk to discover an inclusive community sport opportunity near you.

31st August 2021

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