Kare Adenegan's story - Wolturnus Tukan
Kare's London 2012 inspiration leads to selection for Team GB at Rio 2016!
For most of Kare’s life she was excluded from participating in sports at school for health and safety reasons. She therefore hadn’t thought much of taking up a sport. That was until the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Kare was in awe of how fast the wheelchair racers, such as Hannah Cockroft, were going and was inspired to take up wheelchair racing.
Kare has always enjoyed going fast and would zoom round her playground as fast as she could. So it is no surprise that wheelchair racing appealed to her. Following the Games, Kare’s parents started to research how to get Kare started and found there was a club just five minutes from their house at the Warwick University.
Kare thought racing looked fun and easy but soon realised it was a hard graft. After a tough winter, where she trained really hard to get herself to a competitive standard, Kare took part in the 2013 London Marathon. All her hard work paid off and she placed second in the under 14 girls category, just behind one of the girls she had been training with.
Not long after that Kare had the opportunity to race her idol Hannah Cockcroft. When asked, Kare very modestly recollects the time when she finished ahead of Hannah who hadn’t been beaten in seven years. “I wasn’t feeling great that day and I had just raced the 100m, it wasn’t a personal best so I didn’t have high hopes and thought I knew where it was going, but when I finished the race I realised Hannah wasn’t in front.”
Kare now has Rio in her sights but she is also a student, currently studying for her GCSEs. When not on the track Kare uses a Ottobock distributed Wolturnus Tukan for getting around. Even off the track Kare is a speed demon which makes this chair especially suited to her.
“My racing chair is built for speed but I also love to get around at a fast pace in my everyday life. This is why the Tukan really suits me as my everyday chair. It is rigid and robust so it’s great for picking up momentum,” says Kare. “It is really comfortable as it has been designed to fit my measurements and I really like how I was able to customise it to my taste. My training kit is blue so that was the obvious colour to choose for my everyday chair.
“It also comes with a choice of accessories. I find the zipper pouch at the front really handy so I don’t lose things. I can quickly pop things in and I have easy access to things like my keys. It’s practical, fast and individual; just what I want from my everyday chair.”
It has been overwhelming at times for Kare. In just three short years Kare has gone from a novice to competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympics; but that is where her sights have been all along. “When I first started,” Kare remembers, “I put up post-its on my wall in my room saying Road to Rio”.
“I was actually really pleased that Rio is this year as it means I can concentrate all my effort on my racing. I of course still need to keep up with my studies and I take school work with me when I am at competitions.”
Kare certainly doesn’t do things by halves and also has grand plans for her academic future. “Outside of racing I would like to go on to University and study Bio Chemistry. I find it really fascinating,” Kare explains.
When she isn’t racing, among other things Kare likes to sing. “I may try going for my grade 8 music award, which is the highest level you can get, when I have a little more time. I also really like to read and write. I write poems and also penned a piece about people’s views on disability. Living with a disability can be tough at times but I have learnt to cope with it and my literature is one of my outlets.”
Kare has some sound advice for others like her. “It is important to make sure you surround yourself with the right kind of people; those who will support you and are truthful". I have senior ex Olympian and Paralympian role models, whom I found to be very knowledgeable and a tower of strength in times of need. Whilst, we may have had different journeys, it has been valuable experience learning from those who paved the way for many others to follow”.
“For those who want to get into competitive sports I would suggest that you take all the opportunities you can get and know that you need experience. Things don’t happen right away so you need patience too. During the first two seasons I was in the top ten but I concentrated on my personal best times and now I am on the ParalympicsGB track and field team ready to compete in Rio”!