Victoria's story: becoming a Paralympian medallist
Not so long ago, one of our tenants became wheelchair bound and was on the verge of giving up on her archery dreams. Now, Victoria is the owner of a bronze medal after achieving third place at the recent Paralympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan. She takes up the story…
“I was an able-bodied archer for ten years, but that all changed when I got an infection following surgery on my epilepsy which left me unable to ever walk again. I had a lot of dark days and I suffered badly from anxiety and depression – to the extent where I went to sell my archery bows.
“That was when the shop owner, who I knew and would become my coach, got talking to me and asked why I was giving up the sport. I explained what had happened, and I’ll never forget what he said next – ‘remind me, what part of the bow do you pull with your legs?’ That one moment changed everything. He showed me how to be a wheelchair archer and, before I knew it, I was competing again and then selected for the Great Britain squad.
“To quality for my first Paralympic Games, and to be able to represent my country and town (Kirton in Lindsey), was special enough but to win a medal made it even more memorable. Knowing I’d made so many people proud was the best feeling, and the whole experience was very surreal and amazing.
“The messages of support before, during and after the Games was unreal. Everybody in the town wanted to do something for me – for example, there was a Meet and Greet event and so many people turned up. The last few months have been simply perfect, and I’m now focusing on qualifying for the World Championships next February in Dubai.
“It just shows that, even when you feel like everything is against you, good things are never far away.
“No matter what – never give up on your dreams.”
A huge congratulations to Victoria on her inspiring achievement!