Dame Sarah Storey’s gold inspires at National Lottery para-cycling event
Dame Sarah Storey’s gold medal-winning performance at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games has inspired some less experienced riders to get in the saddle at an event hosted by The National Lottery.
Sarah, 43, claimed her 15th Paralympic title and ParalympicsGB’s first gold medal in Tokyo, by smashing her world best by more than 4 seconds in the C5 3000m individual pursuit.
Her fantastic achievement was applauded by fellow cyclist and 4-time Paralympic medallist Jon-Allan Butterworth at an event designed to showcase para-cycling and demonstrate how the power of sport and ParalympicsGB’s performances in Tokyo are inspiring communities across the UK.
Speaking at the Manchester Disability Hub in Tameside, where people of all ages and disabilities gathered to give para-cycling a go, Jon-Allan said, “Today is all about development. It’s really important to keep highlighting and showcasing grassroots sport and the places where it all begins.”
Emphasising the critical role National Lottery players play in ParalympicsGB’s success and the development of grassroots sport, he added, “Without these sorts of sporting hubs and support from the likes of The National Lottery, Sarah, myself and others wouldn’t be able to perform at the top level.
“It’s also about accessibility. It’s not easy to get into para-cycling because you’ve got adapted bikes and it’s not mainstream. So getting the chance to come to events like this and get exposure to it is really important.”
Brian Facer, CEO of British Cycling, said, “It’s important that we create safe environments for people to come and feel confident in their riding and for them to get out so they can enjoy the fresh air and get a smile on their faces.”
Katie Toft, a 5-time para-cycling World Champion for the C1 class, was also at the event in Manchester. The 28-year-old from Derbyshire said, “I’ve spoken quite a bit today to a young lady named Lyn, and she has done phenomenally well on a handcycle. It’s great because we’ve got people here with all types of disabilities: autism, speech and language difficulties. It’s just open to anyone and everyone to be honest.”
National Lottery players’ support for ParalympicsGB athletes and community cycling initiatives is vital. If you’ve been inspired by ParalympicsGB athletes visit www.parasport.org.uk to discover an inclusive community sport opportunity near you.
26th August 2021
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