Last week we looked at prominent Yorkshire Olympians - this week we feature six Paralympians, past and present, who have links to the Leeds and Yorkshire area
JANE SOWERBY - SIT SKIING (2010)
Jane Sowerby is a former Paralympian who hails from Guiseley and whom represented Great Britain in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics in the sport of sit skiing. Jane was paralysed from the waist down after falling 13ft down some stairs at a friend’s house in London in 2003.
After being treated at Stoke Mandeville for three months, Jane had to adapt to life in a wheelchair. A self-confessed adrenaline junkie, she thought she would never do extreme sports again. A few years ago she launched accessadventures.co.uk to help others in a similar position.
CLAIRE CASHMORE - SWIMMING
Another University of Leeds graduate, she passed out in 2011 with a degree in linguistics and phonetics.
The 27-year-old competes in the 100m SB8 category. Claire was born without part of her left arm but despite that took to swimming aged just six. Aged 16, she was the youngest member of the 2004 Paralympics in Athens - she won bronze in the SM9 200m individual medley and S9 100m backstroke - she was Young Disabled Sports Person of the Year the same year. In 2012 in London she won a silver medal and this year will compete on September 14, a day before the final.
KAREN DARKE -HAND CYCLING
A graduate of the University of Leeds, she came away with a degree in chemistry and geolical sciences in 1992.
She was a runner, climber and all-round outdoor addict until she was paralysed from the chest down after falling off a cliff.
The 45-year-old won a silver medal in the London 2012 Olympics and will be taking part in the Rio Olympics but you may not see her because unfortunately, TV coverage of her sport has apparently been cut but Karen being a fighter, she’s started a fundraising campaign to try change that: twitter.com/kdarke
CHRIS SKELLEY - JUDO
As a youth he was a keen athlete and enjoyed many sports playing rugby for Hull Ionians. He later became a mechanic but was forced to give it up after his eyesight deteriorated.
When he was forced to give up his job as a mechanic due to a visual impairment, Hull-born Chris decided to devote himself full-time to judo
This will be his Paralympic debut, but last year at the World Games in Seoul he managed to win a bronze medal just six weeks after dislocating his hip during training.
HARRY BROWN - WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL
Harry lost both legs to meningitis when he was a baby. He first played wheelchair basketball when he was 11 and hasn’t looked back since. Halifax-born Harry became the youngest player to represent the GB men’s senior team at wheelchair basketball when he was just 16. Harry was one of eight players selected to carry the Paralympic Flag into the stadium during the 2012 Opening Ceremony. Last year he helped the GB men to a qualification place for the Rio Games, with the team securing a third consecutive European Championship title in the process.
KIM DAYBELL - TABLE TENNIS
A medical student at the University of Leeds, Kim excels at table tennis, which he began playing when he was just nine years old. He has now been competing for eight years and trains regularly at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
In addition to table tennis, he also plays badminton at international and county level. The 23-year-old lists winning the 2011 Slovakian Open, Piestany, Slovakia as his greatest achievement to date. He competed at the Paralympic Games in 2012 and will compete this year on September 8, with the final listed for September 17.