Laura Sugar
Sport: Para – Athletics

Laura was born with Talipes (club foot) in February 1991. She had a number of procedures and operations throughout her childhood to help correct her foot. She is now able to walk and run but with no movement in her ankle which makes her eligible for the Paralympics.

Laura’s parents were told that she would be fine and would lead a normal life as long as she didn’t want to be a sportsperson, saying she would not be able to do sport. With a real passion for sport however, Laura gave everything a go and her foot adapted well, enabling her to play sports. Laura’s focus was hockey throughout her latter school years until she watched London 2012 and saw some athletes with the same condition as her competing. Laura researched and realised that she too would be able to compete. She had always had a fond love of athletics but due to competing against able bodied athletes, she felt stronger at hockey and therefore pursued that. Laura was inspired by London 2012 and tried both cycling and athletics but athletics was where the real passion lay. Due to hockey training, Laura was fast tracked onto the Paralympic programme and she has never looked back!

Hockey

Laura grew up as a keen sports lover and played every sport possible, it was only at secondary school that she was introduced to hockey at a ‘pre season’ session before starting school where she was delighted to be asked to join the school team.  However, that weekend Laura was riding a friend’s horse which fell and landed on her, breaking her leg, resulting in a cast until Christmas.

A year later, Laura’s hockey career really began and she grew a love for it; working her way back up and eventually into the school team. She quickly progressed through to county and the East of England. Here, she was asked to trial for Wales.

Laura was selected for the Welsh U17 team and progressed through the age groups to U18, U21 and senior teams. She proudly captained her country at U21 level and gained 16 senior caps overall.

Hockey achievements:

  • European Indoor Silver medal (senior)
  • European Indoor 4th place (senior)
  • U18 & U21 European Championships
  • Selected for the Senior team to play in the World League tournament plus a number of test series.

Athletics

Soon after the 2012 Paralympics, Laura attended a Sports Fest in Guildford. From here, she was invited to a talent day at Loughborough University to try sprinting in January 2013. Although extremely nervous and out of her comfort zone, Laura gave it a go and really enjoyed it. She was soon asked onto the programme and was told she would be classified internationally in order to compete.

She has dedicated all of her spare time to athletics since this day, making the extremely difficult decision of leaving her hockey for this incredible opportunity!

She is now on the WCPP programme and hoping to compete in Rio 2016 with high medal hopes! Laura is currently ranked 3rd in the world so has made the decision to put her teaching career on hold to focus on training to give herself the best chance of getting a medal.

Athletics achievements

  • Double Bronze Medallist, European Championships (T44 100m and 200m) 2014
  • 4th Place, European Championships (T44 Long Jump) 2014
  • 4th & 5th Place, World Championships (T44 200m & 100m) 2013
  • Bronze Medal, IPC Grand Prix Finals (100m T43-47) 2013
  • Bronze medals, IPC Grand Prix Finals (100m T43-44) 2014
  • Current British Record Holder (60m Indoor, 100m and 200m)