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Three Great Leaders

Naked Leader Week – 298 – Monday 9 March 2009

Three Great Leaders

Read Time: What does that matter…

Thank you for the feedback to the four questions – 84 people got the answers correct, 37 showed more imagination than is surely good for them, and one person noticed our mistake of sending it out on a day that doesn’t exist, Monday 30 February!

And so, as we move towards N Leader Week 300 (the first was published on Monday 7 July 2003), how to draw together nearly six years of material, and set a starting point for the future?

Simple, profile three leaders from different walks of life – sports, charity and for nlweek 300, politics – leaders who inspire us to be the very best that we already are

Please send up to 200 words on your favourite, most inspirational leader, from whatever walk of life – Stephen – where to send please

With my love and best wishes to you all



PPS I am now on Twitter – Stephen put words / link here

Eleanor Simmonds

“I started swimming when I was five and started competing when I was about eight, for a local club in the diddy leagues. I swim and compete because I like it, it’s fun. I like being busy, I like being active. It’s as simple as that.

I was inspired to take it more seriously when I watched Nyree Lewis swim in the Athens 2004. She got her gold and I wanted to start competitively in disabled sport – I wanted to be her. Seeing her on TV really helped, it really struck a chord.

My first international competition was at the Durban 2006 World Championships. You can’t compete internationally until your 12 and I’d turned 12 two weeks earlier – I was the youngest ever selected.

About two or three weeks ago I went to the trials for the Beijing Paralympic Games. My main event is the 400m Freestyle. I beat my hero, Nyree, and got a world record. It was unbelievable, my proudest moment. I was totally shocked. I hit the edge at the end and saw that the record had been beaten, but I didn’t know immediately it was me.

You can’t tell because it’s a multi-disability event, so swimmers finish at different times but may be the fastest for their classification. (My classification is S6, which is for swimmers with Dwarfism, which I have; no use of their legs; or coordination problems). I asked the girl next to me ‘who got that’…it was me!

We used to live in Walsall but moved to Swansea last year specifically to help with my training. I train eight times a week, a total of 16 hours. My morning sessions are 6-7.30am, then I have school, then afternoon sessions 3.30-5pm. I get one day off a week.

Qualifying for Beijing was amazing, but it’s really just a bonus: London 2012’s my real goal. I’ll only be 17 then so I’m hoping I’ll be up there competing for gold in front of a home crowd.”




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