We are delighted that Claire has joined our BRIT Ambassador family. Claire is a four time Paralympian who won gold and silver at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, to add to her previous four bronze and two silver Paralympic Games medals. After transitioning to Paratriathlon in 2017, Claire became World Champion in the PTS5 classification in 2019.
"I am delighted to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family to support young adult mental health in the UK.
As a former student at the University of Leeds and Northumbria University, and having spent years working with young athletes at the Youth Sport Trust and British swimming, I know that so many young adults struggle with mental health. COVID-19 is compounding existing mental health challenges and increasing feelings of isolation and loneliness. It is particularly difficult for those young adults with disabilities, limited mobility and who are vulnerable. It is vital that these young adults receive help from charities and support services when they need it.
The British Inspiration Trust are breaking new ground by adopting a collaborative approach to unite the Charity, Education and Sport sectors through their annual BRIT Challenge in order to support as many students and young adults as possible throughout the UK.
This year, BRIT are partnering with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust. This means that all donations raised by the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between five mental health charities who support students and young adults. It is also great to see that BRIT are promoting Samaritans and Shout, thereby signposting students and young adults to charities, so that they have access to support if they need it.
I urge my fellow retired and current Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities to join our BRIT Ambassador family. By uniting, together we can both encourage universities and colleges to enter teams and inspire their young adults and students to take part in the BRIT 2021 Challenge. I would be thrilled to support students and staff at the University of Leeds and Northumbria University as they take on their BRIT 2021 Challenge.”
Claire was born in Redditch, England and attended Hagley Catholic High School in Worcestershire. When Claire was 16 years old, she represented Great Britain at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, where she won two bronze medals. In 2006, Claire won her first international medal in the 100 metres breaststroke SB8 at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Durban. Claire represented Great Britain at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, where she won her second Paralympic bronze medal. Between 2008 and 2011, Claire completed her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of Leeds. During the 2009 season, Claire broke the European 200 metres Individual Medley record at the World Short-Course Championships in Rio. At her third Paralympic Games in London 2012, Claire won two silvers and a bronze. Claire claimed her first individual gold medal on the international stage, at her third IPC Swimming European Championships, in the 100 metres breaststroke SB8. In 2016, Claire represented Great Britain at her fourth Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She won gold in the 4 x 100 metres medley relay and also took silver in the 100 metres breaststroke SB8. Between 2016 and 2019, Claire completed her Master of Arts in Leadership and Management at Northumbria University. Claire was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours list for services to swimming. Claire then decided to transition into Paratriathlon. She was awarded a place on the UK Sport talent transfer programme and made her major international debut at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam where, despite crashing on the bike, still managed to finish 6th.
In 2018, Claire won gold in the Great Britain Paratriathlon National Championships and four consecutive medals at the Eton Dorney Paratriathlon World Cup, Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Series, Tartu ETU Triathlon European Championships and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast. In 2019, Claire won silver at the Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series, the Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup and the Valencia ETU Paratriathlon European Championships. That same year, Claire won gold at the Great Britain Paratriathlon National Championships, the Groupe Copley World Paratriathlon Series Montreal and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, where she became the ITU World Champion in the PTS5 classification.
Claire has been an athlete mentor with the Youth Sport Trust for almost nine years. To read more about Para-Swimming, please read visit the British Swimming website. To read more about Paratriathlon in the UK, please visit the British Triathlon website. To read more about the World Paratriathlon, please visit the World Triathlon website.