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Who is Julie Rogers?

“Being born without the tibia and fibula in my right leg, I had my leg amputated at the age of two. At the age of five I had a further amputation so that I could be fitted with a more advanced prosthesis.

“I grew up in a physically active environment, surrounded by a very sporty family, which spurred my interest in sport from a young age. My dad is a Mixed Martial Arts coach, and believed I could do anything I put my mind to, which really motivated me to join in everything my twin brother did.

“When I was 9, I changed schools and lost some confidence in my ability to participate with other school kids in PE.  It took a few years for me to regain my confidence but I did, and I built up my love of sport again. I then became determined to find a sport that I enjoyed playing and which would also help me stay fit and healthy. I tried several different sports, including swimming and eventually tried my first disability sport, wheelchair basketball. I really enjoyed playing sports with other disabled children and when I tried Sitting Volleyball my participation in disability sport became regular.

“I started playing volleyball regularly when I was 11 years old, playing with Team Loughborough. After a year or so, I was invited to train with the GB Women’s squad based at Roehampton University, as a development member. The ladies already on the squad were training full time so being able to train with them really helped me develop as a player.

“In February 2012 I made my debut for the GB Team at the World Championships in Cairo, Egypt.  Following this, our team qualified for the London 2012 Paralympics and I was fortunate enough to be selected to compete for Team Paralympics GB in the Women’s Sitting Volleyball team.  A totally unexpected but truly amazing experience!  At 13 years old, this made me the second youngest competitor at the games and I missed out on being the ‘youngest competitor’ by a mere month!

“Since the London Paralympic Games I have continued to challenge myself and, in 2013, I decided to try out different sports, which led to me getting classified and trying athletics.  For my classification, T42, I had good strength in both legs. I feel so lucky that my potential was recognised by British Athletics and I receive top support from Pace Rehabilitation centre who were able to fit me with an advanced running prosthesis and walking prosthesis provided by Ottobock. The progression in my training soon accelerated!  In my first full athletics season I went from an unofficial ranking of 10th in the world, to being given my junior debut for Great Britain at the World Junior Games. This was such an amazing experience for me in a new sport and I finished my season with an international classification, ranking me 4th in the world.

“Currently I am training hard with my coach, Allen Adamson, on the track, as well as studying hard for my GCSE exams coming up in the summer!  With the great support from Bedford Modern School, I can keep on top of my studies as well as train on the school site with my strength and conditioning coach, Louise Williams, as part of the school’s Performance Programme. This programme helps students training in elite level sport to excel both in training and in their studies.

“After my exams, I hope to truly show my progression in training by the performance in my races on the track. The World Championships in 2015 are in Doha, Qatar – what an event to potentially make my senior debut!

“I’m really excited for my season ahead and apart from competing around England I will be travelling to Berlin for an IPC Grand Prix race in June.

“I would like to thank Fish Insurance for providing me with a great insurance policy which can keep my mind at ease as I train, travel and compete using my multiple prostheses and test them to the limit!”

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