Josie Pearson

Josie Pearson

Great Britain’s Josie Pearson is another paralympic athlete that has benefitted from Back Up’s rehabilitative courses and has now set her sights on the discus and club throwing events at London 2012 after being forced to put her wheelchair racing career on hold.

Josie was part of GB's wheelchair rugby side that just missed out on a medal in Beijing in 2008 before pursuing a career in athletics. 


She finished fifth in both the 100m and 800m in her first major event as a wheelchair racer at the IPC World Championships in New Zealand last year but was disqualified for going outside her lane in the 200m and 400m. 


The 26-year-old took up the discus and club last summer after encouragement from Anthony Hughes, national performance manager for Disability Sport Wales, and within a few months she had thrown 6m – just 13cm short of the F51 world record in the discus. 


"I am concentrating on my two throwing events for London,” she told C4Paralympics. "I was diagnosed with having a syrinx on my spine, it’s quite common with my disability. Racing is very physical and puts a lot of demands on my neck and my consultant just said if I carried on racing it will make it worse.


"I have my two throwing events to concentrate on so I am definitely putting my health first.”


"I decided in the last few weeks - I'm still having investigations into what we do with the syrinx but for now I'm concentrating on the two throwing events."


Josie took up wheelchair rugby after a car crash when she was 17 years old left her paralysed from the chest down.


She was the first female to represent GB at wheelchair rugby in the Paralympics back in 2008, but having missed out on a medal in Beijing she is hoping to put that right in London.


"My goal is to be selected, then if I can do as well as I do in training I'll be happy," she added. "I'll probably have to throw over the world record to get gold in the discus – which is my best event. 


"I've done it in training. I don't like to tempt fate but I know I've got the potential to be up there."