There’s just a short time today for me to introduce myself to you, just the length of my lunch break in fact. Here we go then. My name is Sophie, I live in Westhoughton, I’m married to Dexter who’s a personal trainer, I work for a lovely foster care agency called Fostering Solutions based in Bolton, I have a brother who’s a soccer coach in America and a sister who’s a triathlete in Canada and, oh, by the way, I’ve qualified for the Paralympics in London 2012!

Since the age of 16, when I left Rivington and Blackrod High School, I’ve been dedicated to training. We’ve always been a sporty family, but 16 was the age when things got serious! Nowadays, I train in either the morning or evening six days a week and Saturday’s my day off – well, a girl has to shop! My coach, former Olympic javelin thrower, Shelley Holroyd and I have divided a programme which involves me training between Leigh Sport Village and (lucky me) the gorgeous De Vere Hotel where I go for swimming etc at the Reebok Stadium. I am especially grateful to the De Vere as they support me with free membership which is a fantastic bonus. In fact, at a time when many gifted and dedicated sportspeople are struggling to gain funding, I am pleased to say that my employers, Fostering Solutions, sponsor me and allow me time off to train. Not bad, eh?

So, the next hurdle (ha ha!) is the selection process that takes place in June. Those months will fly by. I made my Paralympic debut at the Beijing games in 2008 at the tender age of just 21 and came fifth in both the discus and the shot putt. This time around, I’ve dropped the discus (not literally), and opted to focus on the shot putt. What difference will that make? We’ll have to wait and see.

In the lead up to the Paralympics, I hope you will follow my blog, see the ups and downs and ins and outs of preparations for this historic event and have some fun along the way. I’ve lots to tell you about my sport, who’s helped me, how I’ve got to where I am in my sport, who I’ve met (be prepared for some pretty serious name-dropping!), and share my journey with me. I’m off to America soon to visit my brother and train there so will keep in touch and let you know how that goes.

Just time to grab something to eat drink and get back to work, so bye for now!