LIBBY CLEGG will be in good company as she leads Loughborough College’s medal charge at the Paralympic Games which gets under way next week.
For the supremely positive 22-year-old, who took a silver medal on her Paralympic debut in the T12 100m in Beijing, will be accompanied by her younger brother James who has been selected to represent Paralympics GB at swimming.
With sport still riding the wave of a fabulous Olympic Games, the role models who form Paralympics GB are now set to come under national and international focus – and none more so than Loughborough-based Libby who suffers from a deteriorating condition that has left her with just peripheral vision in one eye.
Hailing from Stockport, she was formerly a keen ballet dancer who took up athletics at the age of 10 and first competed in middle distance and cross country running before taking up sprinting. Her impact was so great that two years after Beijing she was voted third in the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, becoming one of the faces and voices of Team GB Paralympic sport and being regularly in demand for interviews
She has successfully combined training to international standard with being a popular student at Loughborough College where she has gained qualifications in Personal Training and Sports Massage. She has declared her ambition of setting up a sports therapy clinic in the future ‘to help fellow competitors with disabilities’.
Her immediate aim, however, is to bring home medals in the T12 sprint double of the 100m and 200m and she says: My best competitive 100m is 12.5 seconds, but I know I can run faster as I’ve proved in training. My aim is to go to London and win, although two Chinese girls should be my strongest rivals. Competitors come from nowhere in Paralympic sport, so you can never take anything for granted.”