AN official celebration marking the success of Coventry Paralympian Kare Adenegan was held at the University of Warwick on Thursday (March 17).
Adenegan, a third-year history student at Warwick, returned from the postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympics with two silver medals which she won in the T34 wheelchair 100m and 800m events.
Her homecoming celebration ceremony, which was delayed due to COVID, finally took place in the Sports and Wellness Hub on Warwick campus this week.
Adenegan was introduced by Warwick’s Director of Sport and Active Communities, Lisa Dodd-Mayne and congratulated by Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John McNicholas, before hearing from the Provost of the University of Warwick, Professor Christine Ennew OBE.
Adenegan said: “I really appreciate that the University of Warwick wanted to have this celebratory event for me and present me with a special award.
“I am proud to be a role model. I do want to inspire people and feel honoured that I can do that, especially here in Coventry. It’s important for people to see others achieving, so that they think ‘I can do that too’.
“I was really proud of my achievements at Tokyo 2020. As an athlete, you prepare, you race and then you focus on the next goal. For me the focus now is the Commonwealth Games. I was involved in the bid several years ago and now it’s actually time to focus as an athlete. My priority now is to be there, racing.
“I am really glad that some of the Commonwealth Games events are happening in Coventry. Coventry is my city. It is home. With UK City of Culture and the Commonwealth Games, it’s great that the world gets to see what is happening here.”
The Paralympian addressed the gathering of over 30 invited guests, which included pupils from Bablake and King Henry VIII School, where she was a pupil.
She was presented with a recognition of success award by Professor Ennew after a question and answer session with the children.
Professor Ennew OBE added: “Marking Kare’s success at Tokyo 2020 has been such a pleasure. We have watched and supported her with such pride since she joined the university.
“She is internationally recognised as an elite athlete in her chosen sport and we are delighted that she has been able to make the University of Warwick her home, place of study and her training ground as she continues to pursue her athletic goals.”
Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr McNicholas, said: “Kare’s efforts have inspired children across the city. She has helped them to love sport and make it a part of their lives. I have been fortunate to see some of the results of her success, and it has been wonderful to watch young children smiling and having fun as they compete – or just exercise for fun.
“She carries the responsibility of a role model very well, and her love of sport shines through so brightly that others can’t help but be inspired.”
Dodd-Mayne said: “We welcomed Kare as a Sports Scholar at the University of Warwick, the year that we opened the new Sports and Wellness Hub here on campus. It was built on the values of encouraging active communities and enabling everyone to be active, every day, in a way that works for them – regardless of background and experience.
“To have a world-class athlete like Kare testing and using the facility while she has been studying at Warwick and working as an ambassador for inclusive sport in our community has been a privilege and that is why we organised this special celebration in her honour.”
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