Wheelchair fewncer Abigail Marshall rubs shoulders with GB stars at House of Lords
Teenager at reception hostred by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson...
Brackley wheelchair fencer Abigail Marshall rubbed shoulders with three British sporting heroes after being singled out to attend a special Parliamentary Reception hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson at the House of Lords.
Marshall’s athletics career is supported by a partnership between Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid, and the talented athlete was one of 15 athletes hand-picked to attend the celebratory event in Westminster.
Grey-Thompson, an 11-time Paralympic champion, was joined by former Olympic champion Mohamed Sbihi and five-time Paralympic medallist Natasha Baker at the reception that celebrated the impact of SportsAid and Entain’s funding in transforming young careers.
Marshall, 17, had the unique opportunity to absorb Grey-Thompson, Sbihi and Baker’s eminent insight and enjoy a day in the capital to savour at the iconic political venue.
And Grey-Thompson, who racked up a stunning 16 Paralympic medals between Seoul 1988 and Athens 2004, said: “Sport is so important to British society - not just medal success, but giving young people that chance to be the best that they can be.
“My career and so much of what I did was based on the support I had from SportsAid, and it’s amazing to see that support going back to young athletes going forward.”
Marshall, who became disabled in 2017 due to her hip and leg deformities before taking up the sport, had the chance to mingle with the other SportsAid and Entain-supported athletes before listening to speeches from Grey-Thompson, Sbihi and Baker to cap a memorable two hours.
SportsAid alumni won a staggering 14 gold, 19 silver and 14 bronze medals for Team GB this summer while in the Paralympics, claimed 26 gold, 33 silver and 35 bronzes as the revolutionary impact of the funding was showcased on the biggest sporting stage.
More than 400 athletes across Team GB and ParalympicsGB in Tokyo had previously benefited from SportsAid funding and Baker, who scooped silver at Tokyo 2020, said: “I can remember receiving my first grant from SportsAid and it made a massive difference.
“Not just in a monetary sense, but it opens up a lot of doors and enables you to do things that you wouldn’t have been able to do without that money.”
Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Details: entaingroup.com.