Hi everyone, Aimee here!

Our newest recruit, Natalie and I thought we’d show a little female solidarity and team up for a joint blog to round off Women’s Sports Week.

Having not played much sport ourselves since our university days (unless you count hammering the gym equipment, paddle-boarding or marching our dogs over the Surrey hills towards the local pub!), we wanted to write a little about the women in sport who inspire us.

There are hundreds of names in the media following the Olympics and some true national stars to admire, though for Natalie and I, we wanted to show the love a little closer to home.

Sport runs through my blood, from my Uncle stepping into the ring with Mohammad Ali back in ’79, my granddad tearing up the rugby pitch and my mother claiming the title of national champion in karate, so whilst I should have had genetics on my side when it came to picking up a tennis racket or a netball in school, shamefully I was always one of the girls who would do anything to get out of P.E and spend the hour chatting with my friends instead or worse, I’d deliberately miss the ball so I was ‘OUT’ and head over to the bench where my equally-minded friends sat waiting to talk about the latest episode of The O.C.

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To my fifteen year-old self, P.E teachers were the enemy; red-faced, barking women with whistles who forced me to swim in January or make a fool of myself with a half-arsed gymnastics routine on horrible blue mats.

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Although I can’t turn back the clock and relish the days where I got to play rounders instead of paying council tax, thankfully with age comes a little hindsight that actually, those women are true sports heroes.

For all the teenagers trying to blag themselves out of hockey (I think even one time, I told my teacher that I was simply convinced that I had scurvy, so couldn’t possibly take part…), every now and again, a shining star comes along with such talent and dedication that the job becomes worthwhile.

Along with parents, your teachers are the ones who nurture your skills, push you harder, help you work through your mistakes and feel the tear-welling pride when their protégés succeed.

For every Team GB Olympian this year, chances are that once upon a time there was a frustrated P.E teacher behind them, who saw potential from the first time they cleared the hurdle, jumped that bit further than the rest or swam that little bit harder and who put up with all the teenage girls desperate to skip the dreaded dodge-ball matches for the joy that came with the students who truly loved and excelled in sports.

P.E teachers, I salute you – but I’m afraid I’ve still forgotten my kit.

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Hello everyone, Natalie here!

So as we are nearly at the finish line with Women Sports Week blog’s, I wanted to end it with someone who inspires me to not give up and always try your best. I have a handful of sporting influences to name a few, Ellie Simmonds, Beth Tweddle and Nicola Adams for being courageous and being the first women to win an Olympic boxing title.

All athletes are amazing in their own way, but one that really stands out for me is someone who is a lot closer to home and has shown pure determination and dedication.

Back in 2004, my brother had his prom in which we were all excited about, taking photos of him and his lovely prom date, Kylie Grimes in the back garden on a warm Friday afternoon. With all the excitement of finishing school and beginning the new chapter in their young lives, they had an ‘after prom’ party at our house and everyone let their hair down to celebrate.

A couple of year’s later, they had a reunion at a friends house and to their delight, there was a swimming pool. After having a few drinks, everyone jumped into the pool and was messing around. Kylie, a keen horse rider, decided to dive into the pool, which to her dismay, was the shallow end. This ended in her breaking her neck and being paralysed from the neck down.

The reasons why Kylie, now 28 years old, inspires me is because she has gone from not being able to move, to gaining movement in her arms and taking full advantage of this mobility as the doctors were certain she would never have use from the neck down again.

With this, she has accomplished more than anyone I know, from skiing, water skiing, to competing at the Paralympics in 2012 doing one of the most terrifying sports, being wheelchair rugby, with its fast and furious nature and to top it all off, competing in this year Paralympics in Rio in ‘Women’s Club Throw.’

Nothing that life throw’s at Kylie gets in the way and is a great idol to look up to in the sporting world, so well done Kylie!