UK Athletics has this week announced the appointment of Paralympian and British Polio Fellowship Ambassador, Anne Wafula-Strike MBE, as a non-executive director for the governing body as it prepares to host the 2017 IAAF and iPC World Championships in London. The appointment caps off what has been an incredibly successful year for Anne, in which she has received an MBE for her services to disability, sport and charity.
“We’re all tremendously proud of Anne’s achievements as an Ambassador for our charity and this role is the icing on the cake in what has been a momentous year for her,” said Ted Hill MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship who itself celebrates its 75th Anniversary year during 2014. “Anne has been the figurehead in a number of our campaigns in a key year for the charity; her resilience, determination and boundless energy will make her very effective in her latest role at UK Athletics, and we all wish her well in the new post,” Ted added.
Anne contracted Polio at the age of two in Kenya which has left her consigned to a wheel chair since. At the Athens 2004 Olympic Games she became the first wheelchair racer from East Africa to compete in a Paralympic Games, and subsequently became eligible to represent GB and NI in 2007. She has since turned her focus to charity work and is a keen servant and spokesperson to disability awareness and equality issues.
“It was a great honour for me to be asked to join the UK Athletics board. I’m passionate about contributing to the sport and giving back in a different way,” said Anne. “I will draw on my experience with The British Polio Fellowship and other charitable causes to ensure that we lead both UK Athletics and then the International Paralympic Committee towards a very successful London 2017 Championships.”
Anne’s work with The British Polio Fellowship has also seen her work tirelessly to raise awareness of the late effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), affecting some 120,000 people in the UK who have suffered from Polio in earlier life. As well as been involved in key marketing campaigns for the charity, she has also delivered a number of informative and inspirational speeches at the charity’s anniversary roadshows earlier this year. Anne was also the fashion model for a British Polio Fellowship designer dress, made entirely of Virgin Train tickets and created by UK haute couture designer, Aleah Leigh. The dress was launched in London during the summer and attracted international media attention as far afield as Brazil and Australia.
For more information on The British Polio Fellowship, visit www.britishpolio.org.uk