Paralympic Swimmer, Jenny Coughlin, joins the BRIT Ambassador family & champions the BRIT Challenge
We are delighted that Jenny has joined our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK. Jenny is a former Paralympic Swimmer who represented Great Britain at the Paralympic Games in 2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing). She is a World, European and British record holder, World Championship Gold and Silver medallist and a European Championships multiple Gold medallist.
“As a former student, having competed and trained with young athletes for over a decade with the Great Britain Paralympic Swimming team, and as a Paramedic, I know that many young adults are struggling with mental health difficulties. It’s deeply concerning that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on students who are vulnerable or live with existing mental health difficulties. The numbers of students and young adults needing vital support and specialist services are increasing dramatically; looking after our health, fitness and wellbeing has never been so important. The annual BRIT Challenge is an inspiring initiative for every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. I’m thrilled that every university and college team taking part in the BRIT Challenge are invited to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities. The BRIT Challenge is an inclusive event with many ways to take part so that students and staff of all abilities can participate; it’s a great way to improve mental health and fitness on campus or at home. I am delighted to be a BRIT Ambassador and urge my fellow Paralympians and elite para athletes from all sports to join our BRIT Ambassador family; by promoting the BRIT Challenge at universities or colleges of our choice, helping to destigmatise mental health and championing equality, diversity and inclusion, together we can have a positive impact on improving young adult and student mental health throughout the UK. I look forward to supporting and encouraging students at The University of Wales Trinity St David and Sheffield Hallam University as they take on their BRIT Challenge.”
Jenny attended Wigan and Leigh College and then went on to complete her degree in Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies at The University of Wales Trinity St David. Jenny became visually impaired when she was 16, was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia when she was 30 and was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 37. Between 1999 and 2011, Jenny was a member of the GB Paralympic Swimming team and competed in the S13 category. Her events included 50m, 100m and 400m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly and 200m Medley. During her elite athlete career, Jenny represented Great Britain at the Paralympic Games in 2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing). She is a World, European and British record holder, World Championship Gold and Silver medallist and a European Championships multiple Gold medallist.
Between 2011 to 2013, Jenny completed a Diploma in Paramedicine at Sheffield Hallam University. As a qualified Paramedic, Jenny has worked with NW Ambulance Service NHS Trust and as a Paramedic Disability Assessor, Forensic Paramedic and COVID-19 Multiskilled Operative. Jenny is strongly motivated to improve inclusivity and diversity in the pre-hospital work place and help inspire future Paralympians. You can follow Jenny on Twitter and Instagram.