Paralympian and World & European Silver Medallist, Joy Haizelden supports the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Joy is part of our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the annual BRIT Challenge to support and improve the mental health and fitness of young adults and students throughout the UK.
Joy has represented Great Britain since the age of 15 and has competed at the Paralympics and the World and European Championships.
“As a former school, college and university student in the UK, and having lived with a disability my whole life, I can appreciate how challenging it can be for young adults and students to cope with mental health challenges. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are commonplace and being part of a team can often provide companionship, friendships and increase feelings of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
Supporting and improving the mental health, wellbeing and fitness of all young adults and students in the UK is particularly important following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. BRIT are offering students and staff at every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union, the opportunity to take part in an inclusive team feelgood February fundraiser. I am delighted that BRIT have designed the annual BRIT Challenge to be inclusive and enable students and staff of all abilities to participate in many different ways.
I am very excited to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family and uniting with Paralympians, Olympians, sports personalities, adventurers and explorers to promote the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. This collectively powerful approach has the potential to make a huge impact on so many lives if we all pull together. I urge my fellow Paralympians, and athletes from all para-sports, to join our BRIT Ambassador family.
Despite now studying at the University of Alabama, I look forward to encouraging and supporting students and staff at the Heart of Worcestershire College and the University of Sheffield to take on the BRIT Challenge.”
Paralympian and World & European Silver Medallist
Joy’s former club is the Coventry Wheelchair Basketball Association and she is classified as a 2.5 point player. She made her international debut in the Head to Head series against the Netherlands in 2013. That same year, Joy was named the Peter Jackson Young Female Player of the Year at The Lord Taverners National Junior Championships and was part of the England South’s team that won bronze at the 2013 School Games.
Joy attended the Heart of Worcestershire College between 2015 and 2017 where she studied Health and Social Care.
In 2014, Joy won the silver medal as part of the Great Britain U25 Team at the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships. That year, at the age of 15, Joy was the youngest player to represent Great Britain at the Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Toronto, Canada.
In 2015, Joy was part of Team Great Britain at the Osaka Cup in Japan where they won silver. She played a crucial role in the GB Women’s bronze medal European Championship campaign which secured their qualification place for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. That same year, Joy was also part of the Great Britain team who were crowned the Women’s U25 World Champions in Beijing, China.
Joy made her Paralympic Games debut in 2016 when the GB Women’s Team made history with a 4th place finish; the highest achieve by a GB Women’s Team.
At the 2018 World Championships, Joy and the GB Women’s Team won silver and Joy captained the U24 team at the European Championships who won gold.
At the 2019 U25 World Championships, Joy was Captain of the squad who won the bronze medal.
In 2019, Joy won silver as part of the GB Women’s Team at the European Championships.
Between 2017 and 2020, Joy completed her BMedSci in Health and Human Science at the University of Sheffield.
Joy represented Great Britain at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
In 2021, Joy moved to the United States of America to study for her Master’s Degree at The University of Alabama. She will be playing Wheelchair Basketball for Alabama Adapted.
To find out more about the Wheelchair Basketball, please visit the British Wheelchair Basketball website.