A Gateshead teenager with cerebral palsy is gunning for glory after being selected to compete at a high-profile international sports event.
Gateshead College sports studies student and talented athlete Emily Stewart will participate in the athletics heats of the 2018 Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) World Games later this year.
The event, which will take place in Barcelona from August 4-12, provides the opportunity for talented athletes with cerebral palsy and related neurological conditions to showcase their talents across several sports.
Eighteen-year-old Emily, who began competing in athletics at the age of eight whilst attending Cedars Academy in Low Fell, will be one of only a handful of competitors from the region who have been chosen to attend the eight-day event, which attracts hundreds of spectators and competitors from around the world.
Emily, who has been a member of the Gateshead Harriers since the age of ten, said: “I am delighted to be attending the World Games and competing on the international stage. The support from my family and my mentors at Gateshead College has been fantastic and has enabled me to succeed in several competitions. I have been training hard with their help and guidance and am looking forward to putting all of this preparation into practice at the games.
“I will be competing across several events including the 100 and 200 metre sprints, long jump, shot put, discus and relay. It will be great to head back to the World Games and try to beat my last record of four golds and a silver medal.”
Emily will return to the CPISRA World Games in 2018 following a successful tournament in 2015, where she won four gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres, long jump and ladies relay, as well as a silver medal for the shot put. She was invited to participate in this year’s games after excelling in several national competitions, including the recent national School Games Finals, a high-profile multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented young athletes.
Liam Gumbrill, sports academy lead at Gateshead College, said: “Emily is a very dedicated student who has a real passion for athletics. She has already tasted success in many prestigious competitions and we are really looking forward to her attending the World Games and representing Gateshead College.
“Our priority at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport is to provide budding young sports enthusiasts with opportunities to turn their talents and passions into success both on and off the field. It is important for us to encourage students’ participation in competitive sport while also equipping the next generation with the knowledge and experience to achieve successful careers in the industry.”
In the run-up to the World Games, Emily will be taking part in other major competitions including the Northern Athletics Championships in Sheffield, the North East Athletics Championships in Gateshead and the Para-Athletics Championships and National Championships, both held in Manchester.
Emily’s coaching team also includes Janice Kaufman for sprints, Alex Giles and Nicola Terry for shot put and discus, and Margaret and Paul Smith from Chester le Street for long jump.