A visually impaired gold medallist from Kenilworth will be running her first marathon in London this weekend.
Paralympian Mel Barratt is taking on the London Marathon on Sunday and is also fundraising for British Blind Sports.
As she is registered blind Mel has a running partner - her husband Richard, who also hasn’t run a marathon before either.
Now Mel’s blog about her experience is being used as part of the ‘Coventry and Warwickshire Year of Wellbeing 2019’ which aims to inspire people to change their lifestyle and improve their health and wellbeing.
At school, Mel was never involved in sport but that all changed when British Blind Sports visited her school and demonstrated how she could get involved.
She then became an international swimmer and won gold, silver and bronze medals for GB at Atlanta and Sydney, as well as carrying the Olympic torch in 2012.
Mel said: “There are a lot of children and adults isolated because of their visual impairment. I found there are social as well as health benefits to taking part in sport, and that was only possible for me because of British Blind Sports.
“I was so fortunate to have all the opportunities I did. I just think the more people hear about stories like mine thanks to initiatives like the Coventry and Warwickshire Year of Wellbeing, the better.
“The thing is, you never know what you can achieve until you give it a go.”
Dr Helen King, Warwickshire Director of Public Health, said: “Not everyone can go on to compete at the Olympics, but like Mel we can all make changes to what we do in order to take better care of ourselves.
“Your wellbeing is important. It is worth spending some time working out what is best for you, and looking after yourself.”
To donate to Mel’s fundraising page click here