UEL shot putter sets sights on Rio

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 March 2016

UEL student Vanessa Daobry is hoping to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics (pic: Ewan Laycock/UEL)

UEL student Vanessa Daobry is hoping to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics (pic: Ewan Laycock/UEL)


Student hoping to compete at Paralympics

University of East London student Vanessa Daobry has her sights set on the Rio Paralympics after being selected for her first international competition this week.

Daobry, a wheelchair shot putter who is ranked number one in the UK in her event, will be making her GB debut at the International Paralympic Committee Grand Prix event in Dubai.

And, having only taken up the sport in December 2014, she is hoping her to continue her remarkable journey by earning selection for the British Paralympic team this summer.

“It would be great to do the Rio Paralympics,” she said. “I’m still a new athlete, but going to Dubai is just the first part towards where I need to be on the world rankings. I’m nervous and excited, but I’m pretty prepared for the weekend ahead.”

The event is key to Daobry’s Paralympic hopes because, before she competes, she will have her disability formally assessed to determine which ‘classification’ she will be competing in.

The 38-year-old has a neurological impairment which means she uses a wheelchair and she added: “I currently sit under F34 classification, but this will be clarified before we compete.

“You see a panel who ask you about your sport and how your impairment affects you within your sport as well. You then have physical testing to see how well you move, or don’t move.

“It’s important to get that classification right as it gives me an idea of what distance I need to be throwing to get me high in the world rankings.”

Londoner Daobry is enjoying another life-changing adventure at the moment after embarking on the UEL’s ‘New Beginnings’ course.

The intensive 12-week access course helps people get back into education by giving them the skills to study for an undergraduate degree.

“You learn research, study and writing skills, all the aspects that need to be in place for you to be a successful student,” she said.

“It’s definitely dusted a few cobwebs off the brain cells!

“This course is going to allow me to move forward with my education, as well as being a better athlete. My hope is to get on the undergraduate course for Sport and Exercise Science at UEL, starting in the next academic year.”

Daobry is also hoping the work she has been putting in at the university’s SportsDock facility will lead to a big improvement on the sports field, with her shot put personal best currently 6.55 metres.

“UEL have helped me immensely – everything from getting access to strength and conditioning, nutrition and general support around being an athlete,” she said.

“It’s actually propelled me forward a lot faster, which is why I’ve now been selected for the Dubai competition.”

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