Q&A with Paralympic athlete, Tanni Grey-Thompson- ANSWERS BACK

(21 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 14-Sep-11 23:16:48

The  London 2012 Paralympic Games is set to be an incredible and affordable sporting event and family day out, with half the tickets priced at £10 or less and prices starting at £5 for under 16s and over 60s. There are 'day pass' tickets on sale which will allow you to see multiple events and 'group organiser' tickets which will be a great way for large groups of people to go and see a Paralympic sport. Tickets are on sale until 26th September.  The London 2012 Paralympic Games is set to be an amazing spectacle of elite sport, and now is your chance to apply for tickets and be a part of it.  To apply visit www.tickets.london2012.com/.  

This week you're invited to send in questions to  Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who is one of Britain's greatest ever Paralympians with a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds.  During her career she held over 30 world records and won the London Marathon six times.  Since her retirement, Tanni has continued to be involved in sport as Vice-President of the Women's Sports Foundation, a non-executive director of UK Athletics and a member of the board of the London Marathon. In 2010 Tanni was appointed to the House of Lords, where she serves as a non-party political crossbench peer.   Send your question to Tanni before the end of day on Monday 19th September and we'll be linking to her answers by Monday 26th September.

ragged Thu 15-Sep-11 10:00:57

Which events (Olympics or Paralympics) are you going to try to see in person in 2012? Have you had any trouble getting tickets?

CMOTdibbler Thu 15-Sep-11 10:08:06

Dear Tanni, I'm really looking forward to watching the paralympics in London (hoping for better luck than with mu Olympics tickets)
How do you think more people with disabilities can get involved with sport, especially those with acquired disabilities ? It seems like its hard for people who need a bit of adaptation to get advice on how to get back to sport - for instance I'd like to cycle, but theres no good place to either get advice or parts to adapt a bike to accomodate my upper limb disability

Blu Thu 15-Sep-11 11:10:30

Hello, Tanni, I hope your training is going well.
My son (who has a mobility disability) cannot wait to see the Paralympics, he is utterly inspired by it (so I hope we get tix, fingers crossed).
Did you have a particular role model who inspired you, or a defining moment when you thought 'I can and will do this!'?
Also my Son's school are attempting to engender a good understanding of the social model of disability within the school and would like to have a disabled athlete or coach run a general sports session for all children in the school, do you know any organisation or individuals who could supply such a session?

IreadthereforeIam Thu 15-Sep-11 13:10:32

Hi Tanni, I'd like to start with a bit of a 'gush', if that's ok!! You're a great inspiration to me and my family - my ds1 was born 7 years ago with Spina Bifida, and we always point you out to him whenever we're watching sport on TV (he tells us he wants to be a famous swimmer and cyclist - that is when he's not being a 'Thunderbird Scientist'!).

I'm always disappointed at the lack of representation of disabled athletes on TV - do you think that the Paralympics (and the World cup etc) should get more coverage, more in line with the 'able-bodied' Olympics on terrestrial TV (instead of the 'red button' or iPlayer, for example)?

Ds has been asking lately whether he'll 'get better' soon (when the scar on his back has gone sad). We've tried to explain that he has a lifelong condition, and that he'll always have it. We meet with other families with children of a similar age with Spina Bifida, so he knows he's not on his own - do you have any advice for me as a parent with regards to him accepting that he is the way he is (but NOT in a negative way!)? The next 3 years or so are going to be tough for him, with surgery coming up for his legs and bladder, but I still want him to have a positive, happy childhood.


madwomanintheattic Thu 15-Sep-11 16:13:28

urgh. just typed a huge post that disappeared. grr.

anyway - hi tanni! just wanted to say my favourite part of the london marathon was watching to see where you were grin and cheering you on.

my q - is there a national register of organisations that activitely provide sporting activities for children and youth (and indeed adults) with disabilities/ different abilities? i know it often seems impossible at a local level to identify opportunities...

my daughter has cerebral palsy due to a birth injury, and we are currently living on the edge of the rocky mountains in canada. yesterday i was privileged to spend the day at a great fundraiser for www.rmasc.ca where we were extremely lucky to have four olympians and paralympians attend and give their support. rmasc is a not for profit that provides opportunities for children and adults with any and every ability to access sporting and recreational activities in the mountains. this year my daughter has taken ski lessons, hiked, attended a swimming summer camp and been white water rafting - but they also provide mountain biking, golf, kayaking, and many other activities. next year they hope to introduce rock climbing. without such an inclusive and can-do attitude, and brilliant volunteers, none of this would happen. some of the participants with different abilities are now training to become instructors themselves - and we also have a few wannabe paralympians too (one has just been selected to represent the province - v exciting!)

hopefully 2012 will inspire many more individuals to seek out adaptive opportunities, and provide them where they do not already exist - imo that would be the perfect legacy for the games.

(and if anyone does need specific advice regarding adaptations, or wants to know how to get out into the mountains - drop them a line grin)

disclaimer - not an ad - just a parent blown-away by the provision. blush

fivegomadindorset Thu 15-Sep-11 16:37:15

Who inspired you in the first place to take up sport?

fivegomadindorset Thu 15-Sep-11 18:49:30

Can I also ask your opinion on Oscar Pistorius qualifying for the World Championships?

chimchar Thu 15-Sep-11 19:28:58

hi tanni.

You came to visit my school when you had one your first gold medal i think...you remain in my memory, so you must have been awesome! wink

As a fellow welshie, what is your favorite thing about being welsh? grin


chimchar Thu 15-Sep-11 19:42:10

one???? sorry, WON i meant! blush

kipperandtiger Fri 16-Sep-11 00:28:43

Hello Tanni, may I ask what made you decide to pursue sport as a career? And what was the most difficult obstacle to overcome while pursuing that ambition - and how did you overcome it?

Grumpla Fri 16-Sep-11 19:56:23

Hi Tanni,

Do you think that encouraging disabled and non-disabled kids to play sports together would be a good way of encouraging integration and raising the profile of parasports, or do you think that it's more important for kids with disabilities to have teams / sports clubs that are just for disabled people?

I'm kind of in two minds about this as I know from some of my friends with disabilities that having a 'safe space' where they are not the 'odd one out' was so important to them growing up, but at the same time I feel as though perhaps inclusive sports are the way forward to try and encourage participation across the board and prevent kids with disabilities from being left out, especially if they are in mainstream schools. Mind you not sure how many schools would be able / prepared to fund sports chairs for a whole class to have a go... maybe other sports like goalball etc could be included in the curriculum?

I'd also be interested to know whether you think that there are more or fewer opportunities for female athletes in parasport compared to the non-disabled sports world. Both to participate and to attract the kind of sponsorship necessary to make a career out of it.

fivegomadindorset Fri 16-Sep-11 20:12:59

HOw easy/difficult was it to combine motherhood and training?

Last one I promise (or maybe not), what drives you?

A very belated congratlations on becoming a Baroness by the way.

IcedTeaAndBuns Sat 17-Sep-11 16:11:13

Hi Tanni, My son uses a wheelchair and he loves to watch wheelchair racing and basketball. We are all very much looking forward to the paralympics - and hopefully will get to watch some events, fingers crossed!

What age did you start to compete? I have found it quite difficult to find any wheelchair sports locally for my son, the few that are there seem to start at secondary age (11 upwards) and I wondered if there are any sports/events out there for younger children?

Thank you!

Tenebrist Sat 17-Sep-11 19:59:23

You've already achieved a great deal as an athlete. What would you most like to achieve as a member of the House of Lords? Is there a particular piece of legislation you would like to see passed?

chatee Sun 18-Sep-11 08:37:41

Hiya ALL,
For all those posting and asking about sporting opportunities, have you heard about EFDS(English Federation Disability Sport) www.efds.co.uk/
they are the most sport and disability generic organisation that I know and provide opportunities for children from the age of 6 years to have a go at various sport in their wonderful day called "Festival of Sport", one is held in the North and one in the south of England.
There is also Wheelpower www.wheelpower.org.uk/WPower/but depends on age and where about you are in the country to make this accessible but we are attending their event 'National Wheelchair Games' and school have authorised and encouraged my child with this opportunity- will give you all feed back after the event if you are interested.
There are also sometimes sporting opportunities through your 'disability' for example www.cpsport.org/
I hope some of these links are useful to you and that you can find some sporting opportunities for your children as I know from a personal experience how much enjoyment and how proud my child is of their achievements in sport that it is worth the commitment to travel(sometimes a far distance for us)and all the family organisation that goes with it!
I can remember watching you and being in awe of your achievements and now having a child with a disability who is interested in sport may I thank you for inspiring and helping to raise the awareness of sport for children and adults with disabilities and hope that the paralympics continues to do this now and provide better facilities for the future.

chatee Sun 18-Sep-11 11:05:56

just found this article too(that might be of interest)

TheCrunchyside Mon 19-Sep-11 11:36:13

Thanks for doing this webchat - you are inspirational. i take my hat off to anyone that can put effort into training to such a high standard.

Really hoping get tickets for the paraolympics this year. It seems the media have been doing a decent job of conveying just how talented and hard working paraolympians are and it sounds like tickets for many events will sell out.

Some colleagues at work have said they are buying tickets because they couldn't get tickets for the "normal olympics" - this comes over as very rude and patronising and I'd welcome your ideas on a good riposte.

Is there a case for combining the two games and holding a merged olympics rather than having seperate events?

Also why is there a seperate Special Olympics for people with learning diabilities?

Sorry that's three questions!

IcedTeaAndBuns Mon 19-Sep-11 11:44:59

Thank you Chatee, I will look through those links.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Sep-11 10:43:17

The Q&A has now closed and we've sent the questions over to Tanni and we'll be linking to her answers from this thread next week. Thanks to all those who sent in questions.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Sep-11 15:16:49

You can now see Tanni's answers to your questions here:

Tanni Grey-Thompson Q&A

It's the last day to apply for tickets for the Paralympic Games London 2012, to apply for tickets visit www.tickets.london2012.com.

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