LONDON, October 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Youngsters at David Lloyd Maidenhead were overjoyed to meet their Paralympics heroine - triple gold medal winner Sophie Christiansen - at the club yesterday (Sunday, October 21).
Equestrian Sophie, who is a member at the club in Grenfell Place, won her impressive haul in the individual, team and freestyle dressage events for Paralympics GB, and delighted youngsters by bringing along her medals for all to see and touch.
"Everyone has been speaking about how the London 2012 Paralympics were the biggest and best in history and how they have inspired a whole nation and the next generation of sports participants," said Sophie. "It was truly wonderful to see so many children at David Lloyd Maidenhead who wanted to meet me, and I was touched by their genuine excitement.
"It's fantastic that so many children now have an increased awareness of the Paralympics and understand that there are no barriers to doing sport and achieving your dreams!"
One of the UK's most successful Paralympians, Sophie, who has cerebral palsy and has competed in three successive Games, added: "Outsiders would say my biggest challenge was my disability but, to me, having disability is 'normal'. Certain things may pose more of a challenge, but there are ways of working around it. I wouldn't have had a chance to compete in the Paralympics without my disability and it has made me who I am."
Sophie - who was one of 36 David Lloyd athletes selected for Team GB and Paralympics GB, with almost a third winning a medal - used the facilities at David Lloyd Maidenhead in the run-up to the Games for core exercise and cardiovascular training.
"I would like to thank David Lloyd Maidenhead for their continued support. I believe to get the best out of my horse, I have to be as fit as I can be and the facilities at the club have supplemented the strength and conditioning work I do with the English Institute of Sport."
General manager at David Lloyd Maidenhead, Neil Austin, said: "There has been a real buzz in the club since the Games and Sophie is a true sporting hero to so many people. We are very proud to have her as our member and were absolutely delighted that she visited the club with her gold medals to show the children, who have been inspired by the Paralympics and really look up to their very own champion athlete - they will never forget such a special day."
About David Lloyd Leisure Group
The David Lloyd Leisure Group operates 80 clubs in the UK and a further 10 clubs across Europe.
David Lloyd Leisure has over 450,000 members and employs 6,000 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 1,800, while it contracts the services of more than 400 tennis professionals.
Across all clubs, David Lloyd Leisure has over 150 swimming pools (of which half are indoor) and offers over 10,000 exercise classes per week. Every week 20,000 children learn to swim at David Lloyd Leisure and 14,000 learn to play tennis. Its racquets facilities are unparalleled with 700 tennis courts as well as 180 badminton courts and 140 squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.
Note to editors: For more information about this press release, contact the David Lloyd Leisure press office on +44-(0)1707-289-833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Make it Rain