Claire pushing for 2012 selection

Photo of Team GB sitting volleyball player Claire HarveyChatham-born Claire Harvey is embarking on the biggest moment of her sporting career.

GB sitting volleyball player Claire will find out in February if she’s part of Team GB’s women’s sitting volleyball team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The selection process for the Games is running in conjunction with the forthcoming Continental Cup in Egypt. The British Paralympic Association will determine how many players are to be selected, and Claire hopes her performances in Egypt will earn her one of those coveted spaces.

Paralympic selection will be the next step in Claire’s impressive sitting volleyball career after representing GB in World and European Championships in recent years.

Claire’s career in Paralympic sport began after a life-changing accident in 2008 left her paralysed in one leg and without some key nervous functions. A keen sportswoman, Claire was not going to live without sport in her life, and took up sitting volleyball.

Since the transition she has gone on to become a senior member of the GB team, but this doesn’t guarantee her selection.

A Medway girl at heart, Claire grew up in Gillingham, where her parents still live. She went to Hillifields Primary School and Rainham Mark Grammar School.  As a teenager she worked as a lifeguard at the Black Lion Leisure Centre, now Medway Park.

Previously a keen rugby player, representing Medway RFC and Saracens, Claire took to volleyball immediately transferring her dedication and tenacity to her new sport.

She trains five times a week alongside her full-time job and every aspect of her life, from diet to sleep, is geared towards London 2012 selection.

“It’s a big commitment, but one I love” said Claire, talking about her life as an elite athlete.  “This is the first time I’ve been involved in Paralympic selection, it’s all very new and all very scary.

Medway Council and the staff at Medway Park wish Claire the very best of luck for the Continental Cup and Paralympic selection.


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