Sunday 21 July 2013

Hot. Hot. Hot!!

Finally summer has arrived - with a vengeance! The British really make me laugh because they are constantly complaining about the weather, it's too hot, it's too cold, it's too wet! We Africans hardly ever mention the weather because we can find lots more interesting things to chat about. Anyway,I am very happy the sun is shining hotly everyday so long may it continue.

It's been a very busy few weeks for me since I last wrote and I just haven't been able to fit in the time to write, which has been somewhat frustrating. I have come to realise that writing helps me a lot. 'I write to give myself strength'. I write to share my joys and sorrows and because I like to share life and kindness with my readers. When you are kind to yourself in thoughts, words and actions it is as important as being kind to others.

This is Polio Month, a time we use to remember the devastation polio has caused to millions of lives, and also to address the issues that surround polio today that are less talked about. I am very proud to be an Ambassador for the British Polio Fellowship, and in that role one issue that not only interests me but is also something I suffer from myself, and that is Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), a little known neurological disorder that causes fatigue and pain. There are 120,000 potential sufferers in the UK alone and we believe it is an issue that really needs to be addressed in the UK, though the sceptic in me thinks that this government will do nothing as it continues its onslaught against disabled people and their carers.

On a similar theme I travelled down to Croydon a few weeks ago to lend my support to the lovely Julia Roberts (QVC Presenter) who was swimming 101 lengths of a swimming pool to raise funds and awareness for The British Polio Foundation and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Celebrities present were; John Salako, Crystal Palace FC legend, James Crisp, Paralympic swimmer, and Bob Ballard, swimming commentator for BBC radio. A lot of money was raised and it was a real pleasure to be a small part of the event.

Columbus School and College in Chelmsford is a place I have close to my heart, and it was a huge honour to be invited to spend the day with the young people as they took part in Olympic Day. It was a fantastic experience to be amongst the learners, parents and staff as we cheered on the young people taking part in sport and enjoying themselves. Their determination and enthusiasm echoes ability, not disability. Mandeville, the Paralympic mascot was a special guest, along with myself.

I also attended an olympic and paralympic day at Nelson Primary School in West Ham.The young people had a lot of fun and I was chuffed to be presented with a special Gold Medal from the School.

The IPC  Athletics World Championships are currently being held in Lyon, France, and are being covered by More4 on the TV, which is great, although the constant ads are driving me mad! Team GB are doing well, and it's really nice to see the younger athletes being given their chance to shine, and boy are they doing well. Sad to see my friend Shelley Woods suffering from the heat and a bug,  but good to see Jade Jones and Georgina Oliver doing well. Georgina is only 21 and is already eyeing my British records in the 100m and 200m. Good luck to her.

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Wednesday 3 July 2013

It's a Long Road.

I haven't been able to blog for a while due to personal reasons and because my wrist has been injured. I am on a very long roller-coaster but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. As I constantly say to myself - no quitting because the cave I may fear to enter holds the treasure that I seek.. I do not want great things from life, but rather small things that will definitely make my life even greater. Nelson Mandela once said;'The greatest glory in living is not in failing, but rising every time we fall and coming back stronger and wiser'. The world seems to be waiting for him to pass but when he does the world will be a poorer place. May God bless him!

My training has really suffered due to my wrist injury meaning I will not be taking part in the IPC World Championships in France later this month but I have had to stay positive and give every moment of life permission to delight me and wake up feeling positive every morning. Anyway, I am healing and very soon I will be able to train. I can't wait.

One consolation has been being able to give my support to others in the community. I really enjoyed my day with the youngsters taking part in the Panathlon Challenge Finals held in Basildon, Essex. The smiles on the faces of the young people as they participate in sport are a joy to behold. Every time I visit them I am strongly reminded that a meaningful life is about being real, being humble and being able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others. These young people should be an inspiration to us all.

Your World Healthcare Recruitment have been my greatest supporters so it was a pleasure to visit them and show my Paralympic Torch to the staff. My visit was crowned with a generous donation to my charity, The Olympia-Wafula Foundation, and the money will be well spent in helping children in Kenya to access education, which is just one of the projects we run.

Life is a one time offer, so let's use it well. XXXX

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