A report by Fabienne Andre:
It has taken me a while to write about my trip to the CP World Games because, to be honest, what I achieved is still sinking in. It was genuinely one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had, and such an honour to be part of such a fantastic Team England squad.
I am pleased to share, for those who haven’t already seen updates, that I returned from representing England for the first time, at my first CPISRA World Games, with three silver medals and one bronze. This means that I medalled in all the events I competed in, which feels amazing, as I wasn’t expecting to medal at all.
Before I share with you a bit about my experience at the games, I firstly want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me in the lead up to, and throughout, the games. This means a huge thank you to everyone at my club, the Mid Sussex Marlins, to all those who donated to my fund-raising page to make this possible or supported me in any way. And, to all the coaches who supported my journey, a very big thank you too!
It has been so wonderful to read and see all the posts and messages of support from people who have followed my progress at the games. I really do appreciate every single message and comment that I’ve received; it means a lot.
The whole of Team England arrived and met up for the first time at the athlete’s accommodation, where everyone stayed due to it being close to where the games were held.
It wasn’t until the opening ceremony that it dawned on me the size of the games, as each individual country’s participants followed their flags in. There were athletes from many different countries from all over the world competing, and also a number of different sports taking place.
Following the opening ceremony we had a few days of training prior to the two days of the swimming competition.
The competition itself was very serious and, when racing, I felt very nervous, especially when waiting in the cool room and also on the starting blocks. But, in our down-time, the week was also full of fun and laughter, with a fantastic team-spirit throughout. I am so proud of everyone in team CP England, who all did amazingly. And I can’t believe that as a team we topped the medal table too!
The games finished with a closing ceremony, where all those who took part celebrated their successes. It included a spectacular light show and live music. The Spanish hosts put on great opening and closing ceremonies for the games in Sant Cugat, which really added to the feel of the competition.
I was quite late in learning to swim and train seriously, only coming to swimming following an operation on my leg as a teenager as it was a great form of rehabilitation to help regain strength and walk more effectively.
When I started swimming for rehabilitation, I could never have known what opportunities and experiences would arise through it, but I am so very glad that I took the steps to try swimming with Mid Sussex Marlins, as it has become a huge part of my life and is something that I really love.
I strongly believe that it’s never too late to try something new, as you never know where things will take you. I learned early on to be determined to be the best you can in all that you do, and to do things with a smile. I think that there is always a way, and anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
I plan to keep swimming and working hard, alongside trying some other sports, with a long term view of progressing to Para-triathlon events. I hope to be successful in making the team for the next CP Sport World Games in a few years’ time and look forward to continuing my training with Mid Sussex Marlins. #proudtobeaMarlin
Now we are all back in the UK, I really miss the team but would love to do it all over again. I made the most of the whole experience and enjoyed every minute. Bring on the next World Games!
Most of you will know that I’m a fan of a photo, so I have included a few from my trip: