“It was fantastic to be involved in Sports Fest. It has a really strong legacy aspect as people want to see the medallists and hear their stories. It brings people through the doors and helps to engage them in sport.”
British para-equestrian rider Sophie Wells was one of the main attractions at ParalympicsGB’s Sports Fest on Saturday (27 April), which showcased a wide range of para-sports that hope to build on a legacy from the London 2012 Games.
Wells – a team gold and double individual silver medallist at London 2012 - was on hand at the event’s equestrian stand to answer questions from budding young riders and fans alike.
“It's a really good opportunity to let people have a go when they might not have previously thought of trying a certain sport,” Wells said.
“It's fantastic to be here with other Paralympic athletes to share our story with kids and show them what could happen. It makes the day special and, as an athlete, it is humbling to see so many people who are inspired by what we’ve done.”
A main attraction on the equestrian stand was a mechanical horse, which young riders could try out. Wells spent time helping people on and off the horse, as well as talking to visitors and answering their questions, and promoting Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s legacy participation campaign.
“There was always a long queue at our stand as equestrian is one of the most popular sports,” Wells said. “And that mechanical horse definitely generates interest.”
In addition to being on the equestrian stand, Wells also took part in a “Meet the Medallist” question-and-answer session, alongside fellow British athletes Will Bayley (Table Tennis) and Ali Jawad (Powerlifting).
“It was fantastic to be involved in Sports Fest,” she said. “It has a really strong legacy aspect as people want to see the medallists and hear their stories. It brings people through the doors and helps to engage them in sport.”