Susie Rodgers MBE TOP TIPS for Women in Sport Week

Paralympian Susie Rodgers is a Director of Spirit of 2012. She is also the Chair of our Spirit of Achievement Panel and was recently recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, receiving an MBE for services to her sport. The award rounded off a very successful year for Susie, who won three medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, including gold in the women’s 50 metres butterfly.


Women in Sport Week 2017 #WSW2017, Susie Rodgers MBE gave Spirit of 2012 her TOP TIPS for women and girls wanting to get into sport and exercise. Here is Susie’s advice for…....

How to beat those sports beginner nerves…

It's always nerve-racking trying something new but don't let that put you off! I was nervous the first day I started at a club, but then I met great people.

Getting into competitive sport…

Find something you enjoy doing regularly. I’ve always loved sport, and swimming has been my passion since I was a child, but it took a long time to get it to the level where I became competitive. At first I just fitted it around work and my love for it grew.                

Parents wanting to inspire their daughter(s) to get into sport…

Find a local club for the sport. I got into swimming at university by googling the nearest disability swimming club and it all started from there. 

Getting involved in sports within your community…

Local clubs, races and events are always looking for volunteers. Regular attendance at clubs will help improve your technique and motivate you as other people will encourage you. 

Advice to women and girls with disabilities on lack of inclusive sport… 

I’ve had comments, criticisms and rejections in all aspects of my life. I never let them stop me. I’m proud to be disabled and proud of the Paralympic movement. It has changed my life. To any disabled woman or girl or to their parents reading this – disability has never stopped me, it’s given me a fighting spirit. 

Breaking the barriers girls and women with disabilities face… 

Lead by example! I go to leisure centres and people see me take my limbs off to get in the pool. I’m a disabled woman who’s not afraid to embrace her shape or ability. Sport isn't about looking perfect. It is about getting stuck in and pushing your limits!

On how to defeat body image pressure…

No one has a completely perfect body – feeling strong and powerful (not necessarily slim) makes you look naturally beautiful as a woman. Accept your differences and your body shape and work with it. 

How to incorporate exercise into your regular routine…

I managed to fit 7 sessions around a full working week at the start of career so it can be done! The bottom line is enjoyment and that social aspect – going to a club after work is a great way to meet people!
 
On diet and health…

Eat healthily! I love salads and vegetables but I am not so great at fruit. Give me a choice and I would have chocolate and sweet things all the time. So I just try to keep on top of it. Everything in moderation! 

How to keep exercise appealing… 

Do it to be healthy and to feel like a strong woman. Vary your exercise, for example I swim, walk and do yoga. If you really want something, you will find a way!    

How to keep motivated after failure… 

Failure - it happens to us all! That’s life! My most important learning curves have come from failure, that is why I would not change a thing. I came 4th in the 50m Butterfly in London 2012. Four years later after loads of practise, I came away with Gold in the same event in Rio 2016. Don’t be afraid of failure – learn from it!

Motivation techiniques…

Your mind is key. Work on it constantly, it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. In Rio 2016 I harnessed my emotions and felt supremely calm and relaxed despite the situation. Don't get stressed, remember why you are doing it and enjoy! Family and friends are important too – don’t underestimate the power of your supporters. I’m inspired by watching other determined sportswomen too.

Finally, a top tip to live by…

Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says 'I'll try again tomorrow'.                                                                                                                                                                           


 

  

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