As an integral part of LUSU, I am proud and fortunate to have been a part of Antony Cotterills’ impressive journey to the Rio Paralympics 2016. Ant has been training and competing for over 12 years to reach this highlight of his career.
The Paralympic values at the heart of the Paralympic Movement are: determination, equality, inspiration and courage. Ant certainly possesses all of these values and, not only inspires those around him, but also motivates people to find the next step forward in whatever they are doing.
All elite athletes have a burning desire to win and compete at the highest level, and believe that they can be on the top of the podium. As a coach, I have to create a connection with the athlete, build trust and ensure that I can get the most out of that athlete when they are in the training environment. Many times, it requires the coach going beyond what is expected, spending many hours on tasks not associated with coaching to ensure that the athlete is fully prepared and focused on the goal ahead – the match.
I am passionate about making a difference to coaching and challenging beliefs. I love to learn from others. I believe that all coaches should be creative - think outside the box and imagine what the athlete needs at that given point in time. Having used the LUSU Sports equipment for mobility and warm-up exercises with elite players, it has allowed me to challenge both my own coaching techniques and those of the athletes.
So what happens when it’s all over in Rio? Quite simply, the training starts for the next tournament. However, as with London 2012, the same questions will be asked: what will be the legacy? What difference did the Paralympics make to the lives of disabled people? Will more people with disabilities engage in sport? Team GB did an amazing job - not only in the number of medals they achieved and becoming role models for those at home tuning in to watch them perform on TV - but by creating a shift in attitudes towards disabilities.
Through our LUSU training and products, we are committed to emulating the Paralympic values and providing inclusive training environments for all.
Written by Louise Assioun, LUSU.
Image credit: onEdition