A Cheshire College – South & West student will be competing in the rhythmic gymnastics category at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin this summer.
Poppy Wood-Wright from Haslington, who is studying towards a Living Independently Certificate (Entry 3) at Crewe Campus, was one of only four athletes to be selected from the UK, after winning the ‘All Round Champion’ title at the intensive Special Olympics National Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships.
Poppy, who has global developmental delay and some sensory-neural hearing loss, has been doing gymnastics since the age of two. She specialises in the rhythmic branch of the sport; in which athletes perform with an apparatus such as a hoop, ribbon or ball. The sport combines elements of gymnastics, dance and calisthenics.
Despite her lifelong commitment to gymnastics, Poppy said it was still a surprise to discover that she would be competing in Berlin: “I was speechless when I found out that I had been selected. I’ve been doing lots of extra training and I’ve been practicing at home as well, doing splits training and stretches. It’s an amazing opportunity and it will be even better because I’m going to be turning 18 whilst I’m in Berlin.”
The Special Olympics World Games are the world’s largest inclusive sports event. Thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities compete together in 26 sports. The aim of the games is to champion and celebrate sport, whilst achieving greater recognition for people with intellectual disabilities in society.
Poppy said that competing at the World Games is currently her biggest ambition and said that her friends and tutors at Cheshire College were happy and supportive when learning of her news. She is continuing to raise funds for her life-changing trip and donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joanne-wood60
With courses including Skills for Living and Work, Hospitality and Catering, and Vocational Studies where students sample programmes from across the college, Cheshire College encourages students to build their confidence to help promote independence in their daily lives.
Cheshire College are now accepting applications for September 2023 for those interested in studying a diverse range of subjects, designed to provide students with combined skills and knowledge that will fully prepare them for the next exciting stage of their life.
Visit www.ccsw.ac.uk to find out more.