Paralympian Hetty Bartlett has been picked to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which start later this month.
The 31-year-old came sixth in the rearranged Tokyo Paralympics when competing in long jump event, however Bartlett will switch sports for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and race for gold in sprinting.
Hetty, who has cerebral palsy, will be competing in the Women’s T37/38 100m final on August 2 in the Alexandra Stadium between 6:30pm-10:00pm.
We caught up with Hetty to chat about her brilliant opportunity to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games.
Q.) What are your first memories of playing sport and did you always have ambitions to compete professionally?
My first memories of playing sport was at school when I did my school sports day. I have always loved athletics. My whole family are very sporty. We are all very competitive and very sporty. I have always wanted to compete professionally.
Q.) You compete in long jump as well as sprinting, do you enjoy training in both disciplines?
I have always done long jump and sprints and still are. I always train and compete in both. For the Paralympic Games last year in Tokyo I got selected to do my long jump. This year for the Commonwealth Games I have been selected for the 100 metres.
Q.) How did you react to the news that you would be representing Team England at the Commonwealth Games?
I was shocked and so excited, I cried a little and ran in my garden screaming haha. I felt like I was dreaming. I was so happy and excited. This has been a dream of mine since I was little. I am so honoured to wear the England kit and to have the lion on my chest.
Q.) The Commonwealth Games starts on 28th July – what are you doing between now and then to be best prepared for competition?
I am training 6 days a week. Me and my coaches are working on techniques with my running, which is going well.
Q.) To compete at the Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle of sport for any athlete, what else do you aim to achieve following this competition?
I would love to medal at the Commonwealth Games. I hope to compete next year in the World Championships in Paris and go to the Paralympic Games in Paris the year after.
Q.) What benefits do you get from participating in sport, and do you feel it’s important that children/young adults are active in sport?
The benefits from participating in any sports is that it’s fun, it keeps you fit, it’s a place to make friends, it makes you feel good. It makes me want to come back again and it always makes me feel happy. I definitely agree that children and young adults should be active in sport.
Q.) What advice would you give to people with cerebral palsy that are contemplating about giving a sport a try?
Any sport is fun, I would definitely say that sport helps your cerebral palsy and helps with your mental health. I would 100% give it ago and I know doing any sport is the right decision.
We wish Hetty the very best of luck in the Commonwealth Games and future events, keep an eye on our social media pages to follow her progress. To follow the Commonwealth Games and for a schedule of events, visit the following link: birmingham2022.com