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Dame Tanni inspires future Paralympians

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Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Britain’s most successful Paralympian, continued the countdown to her last ever international race at the Visa Paralympic World Cup by hosting a masterclass for some potential stars of the future.

 

The 37-year-old Cardiff born athlete led an athletics session for over 20 school children at the Manchester Regional Arena, the venue where she will compete for the last time in a GB vest on 13 May.

 

Athletes with a disability ranging from the ages of 5 – 16 from Lancaterian Barrier Free School and Newall Green High School were able to learn from Britain’s greatest Paralympian, as well as ask her about the tips and secrets that helped her reach the top of her sport.

 

Dame Tanni has performed at world class level in distances ranging from 100m to the marathon for over 20 years and was pleased to have the opportunity to inspire the next generation.

 

She said: “With the date of my final competitive race at the Visa Paralympic World Cup fast approaching, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and expertise to a young group of people who I hope will one day follow in my footsteps.

 

“Now that I have taken the decision to retire, I’m looking forward to giving something back to the sport which has given me so much in the past 20 years.”

 

Dame Tanni has competed at five Paralympics and won 15 Paralympic medals including 11 golds. She claimed 6 London Marathon victories and a comprehensive set of British and world records, making her achievements second to none in the disability sport arena.

 

She hopes that she can act as a role model for many young athletes looking to compete in future Paralympics.

 

She said: “I am coaching a couple of young athletes who are working towards Beijing and London but the more young athletes I can inspire the better. There are many people out there who can be stars on the world stage and potentially win medals in London in 2012 and I hope to unearth a few of them with sessions such as this one today.”

 

The Visa Paralympic World Cup is hosted by the British Paralympic Association. It is sanctioned by the IPC and IWBF and supported by Visa, BBC, UK Sport, Manchester City Council and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

 

The event will be televised on BBC 2 on Sunday 13 May and featured on BBC Radio 5 and the BBC Disability Sport website.