Growing up sport was my passion and I was happiest and most confident when playing it. Schoolwork in the classroom took precedence in those days but after leaving school the balance slowly started to change.
In a sports team, judgments move away from how popular you are and what you look like to how hard you are willing to work and how much you contribute. I felt I had finally found my 'gang' and found a supportive environment where I could be me and develop confidence and self-worth.
The first class will always be hard and you will feel slightly at a disadvantage but not knowing the lay of the land. I remember a couple of years ago trying a step aerobics class, (now back then I didn't have the professional like rhythm I have now......)
Scholarships to prestigious university are awarded to the best athletes; university matches are housed in massive stadiums and are televised to the nation, top professional clubs often hand pick students from university. So why hasn't the UK system ever been such a springboard for students?
On the brink of the Paralympic Games, I'm appreciating this exciting event without any of the pressure and nerves I felt on the day of the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics just a few weeks ago. It's very easy to look back on the Games with rose-tinted glasses with bronze medal in hand...