Great Britain's Shelby Watson in action at the 2016 IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland.

Shelby Watson



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy

Further personal information

Johnstonebridge, SCO
Athlete, Student
Higher education
Child Care - University of West Scotland: Scotland

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began Para athletics in 2013.
Why this sport?
She first watched Para athletics at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and was inspired to give it a go. Her mother contacted British Para athlete Shelly Woods, who put her in touch with Scottish Disability Sport. She then went to a try-out session in Glasgow, Scotland, and loved it immediately.

General interest

Hero / Idol
British Para athletes Hannah Cockroft and David Weir. (D&G Life Magazine, 19 Jun 2015)
Awards and honours
She was named the Athlete of the Month for May 2016 by the International Paralympic Committe [IPC]. (, 08 Jun 2016)

In 2015 she was named Young Sports Personality of the Year at the Annandale & Eskdale's Sports Awards in Scotland. (, 03 Jul 2015)

In 2014 she was named Sports Person of the Year at the Dumfries & Galloway Life's People of the Year Awards in Scotland. (, 03 Jul 2015)
She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months old. "I have been encouraged my whole life by my family and friends to never let my disability hold me back and this is something I try and live my life by, I want the world to see being in a wheelchair should never stop you living your dreams." (, 01 Mar 2015)
Other information
Her event T33 will not be included at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo because of a lack of world-ranked female T33 athletes. She said she had pinned her hopes on the women's race making its Paralympic debut in 2020. "My first emotion is anger because it's six years of my life that I've given away to training with the hope of my big dream to go to the Paralympics. It's not just a few years here and there with a spot of training, it's six years intense training and putting everything else aside." (, 27 Jun 2018)