Huge congratulations to Eden Rainbow-Cooper for her first Commonwealth Games medal. She picked up a silver medal in the women’s T53/54 marathon on 30th July 2022. She came in at just under the two hour mark, four minutes behind Australia’s Madison de Rozario who took the gold medal.
Eden, who lives in Havant is an Ambassador for Get Kids Going! and has been supported by us for a number of years. She lives with Sacral Agenises, a condition which limits muscle growth below the knee. Like Fabienne, she trains with the Weir Archer Academy founded by our President, British Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir, a six-time gold medallist at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games and Jenny Archer MBE. She began wheelchair racing in 2013 and was introduced to the sport through the English Federation of Disability Sports’ ‘Playground to Podium’ scheme. Already in 2022 she has competed at distances ranging from 100m to a full marathon.
Get Kids Going! Ambassador Shelly Oxley-Woods came third in the race – although didn’t pick up a medal as Commonwealth Games rules state there are only gold and silver medals when there are four competitors in a race.
We have been supporters of Get Kids Going! Ambassador Shelly since she was a young girl, so it’s great to see growing athletic prowess as an adult and young mum. She took three years out of competitive racing to raise her son. In September 2021 Shelly won the Great North Run for the eighth time. It’s was her first victory in the race since 2014 and she last competed in 2019. The Great North Run celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021, so it was a very special race and Shelly had a great finishing time of 57:01.
Our president and sixth time Paralympian David Weir unfortunately suffered a puncture while leading the men’s marathon. However, he kept on going and pushed his way to the line using his punctured chair, while those he had previously led overtook him.
After the race he told the BBC “If I didn’t have my mates in the last 4km running beside me I probably would have stopped because the hills were just… (tough). But from where I’m from, a council estate, you just don’t give up on anything. Especially when I saw my mates running beside me, it was emotional.”
England’s Johnboy Smith won the gold in the men’s marathon and David Weir said:
“He’s a good lad and it’s nice to see that England got a medal but I’m more proud of Eden. She’s a young athlete from the academy and she’ only 21 so to get her first medal at a major championships, I’m more proud of her today.”
We are also incredibly proud of Eden and also of Shelly. We wish all the best to Fabienne Andre who will also be competing in the games.