Hampshire & Isle of Wight Disability Sports Development Officer
(video link at bottom of page)
My name is Peter, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Disability Sports Development Officer.
I have always been keen on sport and encouraged to swim from a very early age for physiotherapy reasons because I rely on my upper body to get me around. This was a natural progression to go into competitive swimming.
That led to the Paralympics in 1988 in Seoul coming back with 4 fourths, so just outside the medals which was a little frustrating! So four years later, trained hard, I came back with 3 Gold medals!
I did a Leisure management course and then after that contacted the Council looking for work. It was at the time that the then Disability Sports Development Officer was moving on, he had started a project, an activities weekend for disabled youngsters down at Calshot.
The English Federation of Disability Sports came into being and negotiated a full time contract, they put some money into it but the funding largely came from Hampshire with additional support from the local unitary authorities.
From the very early stages when I was working part-time I was made aware that the Council do provide support, whether by means of funding or equipment. I do remember that at this time voice activated software was being developed and could be made available.
All through my life I have been happy to get on with things and find my own way, so I found that to accept support was quite difficult. But I actually found that it makes me that much more cost effective.
Access to Work was brought to my attention and I passed the assessment - no problem! I now have an admin support person who makes me more cost effective. I can type, stuff envelopes, photocopy but it does take me that much longer. To have someone there to do that for me allows me to do the job more effectively.