Student Aiming for Gold in 2012 Paralympic Games

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A student at the University of Worcester is aiming for gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Student Leanna Horne shows off some of her sporting medalsLeanna Horne competes in Shot Put and currently holds the England Under 23s record, with a distance of 2.68 metres.

The 22-year-old, of Oakenshaw South, Redditch, is now beginning a rigorous training regime, thanks to an £800 scholarship from the University of Worcester, to prepare for the 2012 Games.

Leanna, a third-year Drama and Performance student at the University, said: “This scholarship will really help me with my training, ensuring that I can attend competitions over the next 12 months and helping towards fees and travel expenses.”

Leanna is a member of Cerebral Palsy Sport England and Wales. She needs to secure enough points by attending competitions throughout the next year to qualify for the GB squad for the 2012 Paralympics.

“I am training as much as I possibly can - going to the gym and lifting weights at home to build up the strength in my arms, and I really hope I can make it into the 2012 selection,” she said. “It would be amazing to represent my country at the 2012 Paralympics.”

Leanna took up shot put while at secondary school and won her first gold medal during her very first competition at a regional event back in 2002.

In 2004 Leanna was named Sports Woman of the Year by Disability Sport England and npower. After a two year break between 2007 and 2009 due to illness, Leanna has been back training and competing.

“Once I have finished my studies this summer I will be able to concentrate completely on getting ready for the Games,” she said. “This is my one chance to compete at international level on home ground where all my family can come and watch and I really want it. I just hope I can secure my place in the team.”