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University of Worcester Graduate a Step Closer to Rio

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A University of Worcester graduate is a step closer to competing at this year’s Rio Games after gaining a place on Paralympic GB’s squad for its Grand Prix event in July.

Leanna Horne is ranked Number 1 F31 Female in the UK for Seated Club Throw. Competing at the Grand Prix event in Berlin is her biggest hope of selection for the Rio squad.

However, the 28-year-old Drama graduate needs to raise over £3,000 to fund her place and potentially realise her dream of competing at the Paralympics this summer.

“Without funding I may be forced to forfeit my place on the team for Berlin - and the thought of having to do that, on the brink of my Paralympic debut, is just unbearable,” she said.

Leanna, from Dodford, near Bromsgrove, has been competing since 2002 in Seated Shot.

“I was Under 15's Regional & National Champion in 2002 & 2003 & Under 17's Regional & National Champion, as well as Under 20's Bronze Medallist in 2004,” she said. “In January 2014 I was formally classified by British & UK Athletics and began training and competing in Seated Discus & Seated Club Throw, alongside Seated Shot.”

Born with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, as well as Scoliosis (curvature of the spine), all four of Leanna’s limbs are affected. In 2015 she gained international classification and is now ranked 1st in the UK in her category.

“The problem is that without knowing if I am going to have the £3,090 I need to cover the costs leaves my place in jeopardy,” she said. “I need to book flights for me and a carer as soon as possible, with the last date for payment of accommodation & entry fees being Friday 1st July 2016.”

Leanna, who graduated from the University of Worcester in 2011, is looking for sponsorship to help her raise the funds for the Grand Prix in Berlin. Anyone who wants to support Leanna can contact her on 01527 570078 or by email at learealpic@hotmail.com