Wednesday 14 May 2014

WoMentoring Programme

I believe inspiration comes from looking at everything in a positive way. You only have to open your eyes to be inspired. You also need to make peace with yourself and my secret is to value my imperfections as well as my perfections. Once you do this life becomes worth living..

I haven't trained much due to external commitments but I have made a promise to myself to create the time to get back to the gym and back on the road. I haven't lost my love for wheelchair racing but I have been guilty of putting it into the background as I concentrate on other things. I have been very encouraged by comments from fellow racers saying they miss my presence at competitions so watch this space!

Last week I had the great privilege of spending time in beautiful  Vienna, Austria with a lot of truly inspirational and amazing women. I have been asked to be one of the mentors by the European Paralympic Committee, in conjunction with the International Paralympic Committee and the Agitos Foundation. The 'Womentoring Programme' is a pilot initiative that aims to have women mentoring women in sport, hopefully helping them to improve and achieve in various ways. We stayed in the Marriott Hotel in Vienna and I was amazed at the luxurious room I was given. It was lovely, but it didn't stop me missing my son.

As a Mentor I will be on hand to offer my support and encouragement to my Mentee in the hope she can make progress in her chosen field. I also hope to challenge her to move beyond her comfort zone. I am very excited by this opportunity because it empowers women and helps them to improve their leadership skills. I firmly believe we need more women in leadership roles in all areas of society and I'm really looking forward to learning more about how to be a good leader. I firmly believe in never giving up. You must use failure as a spur to greater things, and as the old saying goes;'If at first you don't succeed, try try again'. When you make the effort you can achieve your goals. A successful woman is one who wakes up each day and determines to make progress no matter what rejections and negativity they may experience. Tomorrow is another day!

It was a genuine pleasure for me to meet so many great women, Maria Rauch - Kallat who has been a minister in the Austrian government and so full of wisdom of empowerment, Amanda Bennett, Tine Rindum - Teilman, and great athletes such as Sylvana Mastre and Gaizem Girismen, to name just a few. We all learned and shared our knowledge and experience of issues such as gender equality, women in sport, thinking tactically to enable change and the presentation of good practice. I came away full of new knowledge and a determination to put it into practice in my new role.

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