This article has been put together from a number of sources credited below.
28-year-old Gemma Prescott, who lives in Grays, is to compete for Team GB in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Gemma came to Thurrock a few years ago on a year-out 24-7 Prayer Transit course, based at the Stanford Boiler Room, a.k.a. “217”.
“I can’t wait to compete in front of a home crowd at London 2012,” she is reported as saying. “It’s pretty special to be selected for your country at any event but a home games is extra special,” Gemma says on Channel 4’s Paralympic website.
“When you’re on home turf there’ll be a lot of people there to support me, including people who don’t know me and that’s really special.”
The Warrington Guardian reported Gemma as saying more about the prospect of home support. “A comment made by Andy Murray at Wimbledon… struck a chord with me about that, saying that it can be extra pressure having the country behind you.
“But he said if you can harness that support it can inspire you, and that’s a good way to treat it.”
Born in Truro, Gemma also lived in Warrington. She currently lives in the Grays.
At the time of writing, Gemma is training in Portugal with the GB Paralympic team. She found out she was picked for the team on 10 July.
Gemma, who has cerebral palsy and who throws from her wheelchair, is competing in the Shot Putt and Club Throw events in the Olympic Stadium just up the road from Thurrock in Stratford. She has previously competed at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 and won a bronze medal in the Shot Putt event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Dehli.
Gemma first tried these disciplines when she was 15 after being invited to “have a go”. She made her first competitive outing at the 1998 DSE National Junior Championships held in Blackpool.
In 2006, Gemma graduated from St Andrews University with a Masters in Maths – her ambition is to qualify as a primary school teacher.
At Beijing in 2008, Gemma finished 7th in the Shot Putt and 8th in the Discus.
At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, held in Christchurch in New Zealand, Gemma came 7th in the Shot Putt (achieving a personal best of 5.68m) and won the bronze medal in the Club Throw event.
This year she has acheived a personal best Club Throw of 19.62m, coming first in both the German Championships (for Club Throw) and the London Challenge (for Shot Putt).
“I just want to do the best I can,” Gemma says. She’s a very determined lady!
You may not be going to the Paralympics, but you can support Gemma through your prayers for her, not only that she can “do the best” she can, but for her as she faces the pressures, the publicity, and hangs out with other Paralympians during the period of the Games.
The 2012 Paralympic Games begins Wednesday, 29 August 2012, and ends Sunday, 9 September 2012.
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