A UNIVERSITY of Worcester graduate is one step closer to competing at this summer’s Rio Paralympic Games after gaining a place in the Paralympic GB squad for the ‘Open Grand Prix’.
Leanna Horne, who is ranked the best ‘F31’ seated club thrower in the UK, is hoping to travel to Berlin to take part in the Open Grand Prix on Thursday, July 16 and Friday, July 17.
The event is the 28-year-old’s biggest hope of selection for the Rio Paralympic GB team, but she needs to raise more than £3,000 to fund her place.
Born with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and Scoliosis, all four of Leanna’s limbs are affected, but since competing in seated shot in 2002, she has gone on to the gain international classification in the sport.
“Without funding I may be forced to forfeit my place on the team for Berlin, but the thought of having to do that on the brink of my Paralympic debut is just unbearable,” Leanna said.
“I was under-15s regional and national champion in 2002 and 2003, as well as under-17’ regional and national champion. In 2004 I was also an under-20s bronze medallist.
“In January 2014 I was formally classified by British and UK Athletics and began training and competing in seated discus, seated club throw and seated shot.
“The problem is not knowing if I’m going to have the £3,090 I need to cover the costs, which leaves my place in jeopardy.
“I need to book flights for me and a carer as soon as possible, with the last date for payment of accommodation and entry fees being Friday, July 1.”
Call Leanna on 01527 570078 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sponsor her or for more information.