Clare Childs, Motivation's Sports Range Manager, reflects on her unexpected London 2012 Paralympics highlight...

Wednesday 7th September

I’m all about the sport and see the pomp and theatrics of the opening ceremony as a bit of window dressing, perhaps to get those people not so interested in sport engaged. So no one was more surprised than me when asked recently what my Paralympic London 2012 highlight was, for me to say the athletes entering the stadium at the opening ceremony. 

I was part of the Motivation team in London to launch the Flying Start, a low cost racing wheelchair in partnership with the International Paralympic Committees, Agitos Foundation.

A big deal for a relatively small not for profit and International Development Organisation based in Bristol, who’s sports wheelchairs are designed for grassroots development rather than elite competition, so access to the biggest sporting show on earth was an epic opportunity.

The Flying Start was on display at the Paralympic Museum near the athletes village which became a base to meet our National Paralympic Committee (NPC) and Sports Federation partners from around the world and made many new connections.

I managed to get a ticket to one of the best nights of Athletics competition of the Games - for Team GB at least. I lost my voice (a relief for everyone) having shouted home world beating athletes delivering phenomenal performances.

As great as that was, my overwhelming memory was trying to count the athletes entering the stadium at the opening ceremony using a Motivation everyday wheelchair.

Take a look at who I spotted...

The athletes would have been given the wheelchairs free either through a Motivation project or Motivation trained partner. The chair would have been expertly selected and fitted specifically for them and provided with a pressure relief cushion, which is as important as the wheelchair for many who are seated all day.

As Sports Range Manager at Motivation, my role doesn't require that I visit a wheelchair service or project overseas, so, as of yet, I have not  - but London 2012 might well be as close as I get!

From school, to work, to training on the track, tennis or basketball court and now into the stadium with a capacity audience for the opening ceremony of th London 2012 Paralympic Games .... Quite a journey - roll on Rio 2016!