A paralympic archer has praised a Tonbridge gym for providing sponsorship and equipment that will see her travel to the 2016 Games in Rio next month.
Tania Nadarajah, who only took up the sport full-time two years ago and is representing Team GB, thanked the Strength and Conditioning Institute for its assistance – which she says has proved vital in her preparations.
As part of its sponsorship, the company in Crabapple Road is providing £500 towards bow equipment for the archer known as ‘Lady T’, who is ranked within the world’s top 25 after being fast-tracked into the British squad.
She said: “One of my teammates where I have been training at Cedak (Centre of Excellence for Disability Archery in Kent), at Westerham, put me in touch with the Tonbridge company.
“Alex Shoebridge and Martin Shyvers at the Strength and Conditioning Institute have been wonderful. I went down to their gym and had a really good chat with them and they have been so supportive.
“They have a really good space there and it’s a beautiful location, and if I lived a bit nearer then I would want to use the place regularly, but I’ll be back to visit them once I am back from the Olympics,” added the 35 year old, who lives in Banstead, Surrey, and is now in the final stages of training for Rio.
Having suffered a spinal injury seven years ago following a motorbike accident that she says was not her fault, Tania says she has trained immensely hard to overcome the injury she sustained.
She tried out a number of potential sports as part of her recovery plan, including rowing at the specialist spinal injury centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury. She finally found that archery could potentially offer a rewarding focus to aid her recovery.
A Paralympic trial a couple of years ago led to an appearance in the World Championships last year in Germany.
“The injuries I had from my accident included five broken ribs, a broken collar bone and spinal injuries, which was really traumatic at the time. But my mum helped me get through, and I have some really good friends, too,” added Tania, who has no regrets in giving up her former work in PR to switch her focus to Rio.
“This really is a dream come true for me, as two and a half years ago I wasn’t even doing the sport, which just seems crazy as I’m now going to the Games,”
Martin Shyvers, who is Director and Head Coach at the Strength and Conditioning Institute, explained he was glad they could be of assistance.
He said: “What is most impressive about Tania is that she only really took up archery a few years ago.
“And now she is going to the Paralympics, which is amazing.
“We have high hopes for her at the Games,” added Martin, who said that like many Paralympic athletes, Tania had to work extremely hard to fund her ambition of representing Team GB.