Sporting heroes help prepare next Olympic generation

  • Para dressage rider Erin Orford represented the horseworld at Team GB’s athlete summit earlier this month (December).

    Forty-seven British athletes headed for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics gathered at the summit in London to hear from sporting legends including Sir Clive Woodward and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

    Sir Clive Woodward, manager of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning team and British Olympic Association director of sport said: “We expect over 75% of Team GB’s athletes in 2012 to be first time Olympians.

    “The Team 2012 Athlete Summit provides a valuable opportunity for athletes from many sports and disciplines to come together and learn from Olympians and Paralympians who have been there, done it and succeeded.”

    18 year-old Erin Orford, from High Wycome, Bucks, is on the World Class Development Para Dressage programme.

    Bilateral amputee Erin is missing the radius bone in both arms, which means that she has shortened lower arms and only four fingers on each.

    She started riding aged two at her local Riding for the Disabled Association centre and was inspired to take up dressage after watching the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.

    Promising 21-year-old eventer Emily Llewellyn was also due to attend the Athlete Summit, but was prevented by bad weather.

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