Jade Mullin

Seated Athlete

Jade Mullin

Jade Mullin was born with Spina Bifida, a defect in the development of the spine and spinal cord where some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. Despite this condition affecting her body from the waist down, Jade loves sport and is now a highly promising seated athlete. She has her sights firmly set on competing in the Paralympics in the future after she was named as UK Tameside Best Disabled Achiever.

Still only 16 years old, she recently started a 3 year BTEC sports course at college and this will hopefully help Jade to go into disability coaching as a career. Jade also visits schools and sports halls to give motivational talks to other athletes, and gives training demonstrations and sessions. Jade’s most recent talk was to PE teachers telling them about her experiences at The School Games both in the London Olympic stadium last year and this year at Sheffield.

Jade is at present training very hard with weights, doing core strengthening, and some wheelchair track sessions to improve her overall fitness.

Next year will be a very difficult year for most seated athletes because of new rules regarding the seat design of their throwing stools. These are to be altered to make all seated athletes sit on the seat with no possibility of contact between the body and the ground. This means that in the coming 2014 season and beyond, Jade will have to completely change her technique, to comply with the new rules.

Despite this, Jade will still compete to the very best of her ability in next year’s competitions in seated shot, javelin and discus. Jade was throwing around the 12 meter mark in 2013, so she expects to reach this again in 2014 depending on the seat adaptation.

Relying on her family to transport her to the various events around the country, funds were tight and endengered of running out. Jade was facing the prospect of having to curtail or even give up on her sporting ambitions.

The sponsorship from SALTO Systems and free2move.org has completely changed this outlook. Jade can now look forward to guaranteed financial assistance for the next three years, enabling her to really focus on her sporting future and train hard to achieve her Paralympics goal.

Some of the events Jade compete in over the course of a year are: the CP Open Grand Prix series; at least 1 UKA Paralympics Senior or under 20 competition; the CP Open Nationals Championships; the Cheshire and Manchester County Championships; the Merseyside County Championships; the DSE Regional and then hopefully DSE Nationals and the Sainsbury School Games in Manchester if she achieves selection for the North West English Squad.