Helena updates us on her Paralympic preparations and being part of The Magenta Project.
Why is advancing women in sailing important to you?
Sailing is very much a male dominated sport and apart from doing an Olympic /Paralympic camaign its really hard for women to either find a career in sailing or further their career after the Games. There are so many talented females in the sport and industry and unless they are prepared to go it alone or can get involved in an all Women’s project like Team SCA they always seem to be overlooked by their male counterparts. My Paralympic career is coming to a close after Rio and I find myself asking the question “what next?” I would love to further my career and give back to the Sport I love, but apart from going into coaching I have no idea how. This is why I am proud to be an ambassador for The Magenta Project and get women recognised for their talents in sailing and hopefully change the perception of our Sport.
Who do you see as a role model in women’s sport and why?
Serena Williams is certainly a role model to womens sport and through her personality, talent and amazing achievments has managed to change the perception of womens tennis and put it on an equal to men’s tennis. The William’s sisters together have changed the stereotypical and elitist views of the Tennis world and show that women can be strong, athletic, determined, aggressive, but still feminine and beautiful.
Can you give us a little insight into what your road to Rio looks like?
It has been an intense year so far, trying to compete in as many regattas as possible whilst also fitting in training, tuning and testing of kit, as well as trips out to Rio to train and acclimatise in the conditions out there.
Its not long now before the start of the first race of the Paralympics and its time to reflect on the hard work, make sure we have not overlooked anything and take a little time out to recuperate and make sure I am fresh for the Games. Our training is now all based in the Solent as the tidal conditions are similar to Rio. Big thank you to the Royal Southern Yacht Club for allowing us to use their club and host a little regatta planned at the end of August to make sure I am race sharp, before I fly to Rio on the 29th August.
By Supporting The Magenta Project, I hope to help create more opportunities, careers and a future for women in our Sport.