Passport at the ready for Rio Paralympic Games athlete Jade Jones

WHEELCHAIR racer Jade Jones has been selected to represent Team GB at the Paralympic Games in Rio this September.

The call-up for one of the stars of Teesside University’s elite athlete scheme comes just days after she picked up a bronze medal in the T54 1,500m at the Anniversary Games held at London’s Olympic Stadium.

Jade, who is studying law at Teesside, is a member of the University’s elite athlete scheme which provides access to sophisticated equipment and expertise to athletes at international level or with exceptional international potential.

The scheme provides a comprehensive support package which is individually tailored to meet the needs of each person.

Athletes can access academic and sports science support such as physiological and biomechanical assessment, monitoring of training loads, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy and sports psychology support.

Jade has also used the University’s specialist environment chamber, which recreates exact climate conditions and allows her to race in the same sweltering heat she can expect to face in Rio.

Matthew Wright, sports development officer for elite sport at Teesside University, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to learn that Jade has been selected to join the Team GB Paralympic Squad.

“It is testament to her extreme hard work and dedication and we are sure she will be a credit to her country in Brazil.

“We are very proud to have been able to offer her support and encouragement as she prepared for the Games.”

Jade was first encouraged to take up wheelchair racing by 11 times Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson. She is trained by Baroness Grey-Thompson’s husband, Ian Thompson.

This will be Middlesbrough-born Jade’s second Paralympics. In 2012, she competed in London in the 400m, 800m and 1,500m events.

She has also competed in the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships and was a finalist in the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

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