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A big shout out to our Paralympians

Category: Paralympics, Paralympic Games, Ex Armed Forces, Government, Jobs in Government, sport, Physical Disability, Sports, Paralympic, Athletics, UK Government, ministry of defence, athletes, MOD, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, British Athletics, DIO


Tokyo 2020 sets the record for most athletes and women at a Paralympic  Games | International Paralympic Committee

By Joanne Peel, Head of People and Capability, Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

I knew there had to be some of our Defence family competing in the Paralympics – and it turns out we have quite a few. In summary I just want to send them my very best wishes and to let them know we are very proud of them and I hope they are rewarded for all their training and dedication with a personal best and if possible a podium place! I am sure that it would motivate them to know the whole of Defence were willing them on.

So, why did I think we would have colleagues out in Tokyo? Well, our serving personnel are just amazingly well placed to be sporting competitors at the highest level. They can pull on their service career qualities: courage, teamwork, agility, strength of character under pressure – resilience, focused and willing to take themselves to their outer limits and give of their best. They do so whilst still representing their country like they have done before.

For many – and I don’t know their stories – Paralympians will have faced physical and mental challenges and come through that with spirit. For one I am truly inspired. I went to watch the Invictus Games in London and years later I am still fuelled by adrenaline and pride when I remember those performances. The Tokyo Paralympic games will provide the same.

I’m a Head of People and Capability (with a sporting youth behind me) – so I care about the Games for two reasons. Firstly, the pure pleasure of watching people push themselves to the limits of human capability and then shake hands afterwards. Secondly, I am curious about where people draw their capability from and how they drive themselves towards their own peak performance. We all have experience and skills to draw on (prior learning) but the people at the top of their game do not settle for good enough, they continue to learn and develop – sometimes through marginal gains (read up on Dave Brailsford and the British Cycling Team) sometimes through a transformational change of approaches. Let’s all stay curious – we may not have the capability to be a Paralympian, but we can strive to be the very best we can.

Once again very best of luck to our Paralympians – thank you for making us proud.

Read more about our Defence colleagues here.

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