City’s sporting stars are heading to the Paralympics

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Two young athletes will head to Rio to represent Team GB in the Paralympic Games.

Sophie Carrigill, from Wakefield, has been selected to co-captain the women’s wheelchair basketball team while Jamie Stead, of Normanton, will compete as part of the wheelchair rugby team.

Sophie is a graduate of the British Paralympic Association’s ‘Inspiration Programme’, and was given the opportunity to attend London 2012 to learn more about what it takes to compete in the Paralympic Games.

She has represented the nation in the European and World Championships.

And she captained the team, leading them to their highest ever finish of 5th place in the 2014 World Championships in Canada.

She said: “Getting to experience London 2012 as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme really inspired me to reach Rio.

“I have trained so hard in the last few years and now I want to do my very best this summer and make my family and the nation proud.”

Sophie, 22, is one of 12 members of the team, which also includes Castleford player Leah Evans.

Jamie, also 22, holds three gold medals in swimming at a national level and has also tried his hand at wheelchair basketball.

He made his wheelchair rugby international debut in 2014 and has gone on to represent GB at the European and World Championships.

He said: “It’s a massive honour to be selected, I feel really proud.

“I always wanted to become a Paralympian so it’s a dream come true really.

“Since I was little I’ve tried loads of disability sports to try and get here.

“London 2012 really inspired me to go on and push for it.

“I’ve got a big group of supporters at home that’ll be rooting for me, they’re going to do me proud too.”

The Paralympic Games will take pace in Rio, Brazil from September 7 until September 18 this year.