Double Paralympic Gold medallist, Danielle Brown MBE, supports the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Danielle is part of our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness.
Danielle is a double Paralympic gold medallist in archery, five time World Champion and was World Number 1 for her entire career. She also achieved something that very few disabled athletes manage when she successfully transitioned onto the able-bodied team.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the mental health challenges that young adults and students face. It has also had a disproportionate impact on particular groups in society, particularly those on a low income, people with an existing mental health condition; children and young adults and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. We must do more now to support all young adults and students who need help to avoid long-term consequences on their mental health, fitness and wellbeing.
BRIT’s vision is to support young adult mental health and fitness through the delivery of their annual BRIT Challenge. Every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union are invited to enter teams in this feelgood February fundraiser and encourage their students and staff to take part.
BRIT is calling for Olympians, Paralympians, sports personalities, adventurers and explorers to join the BRIT Ambassador family, promote the BRIT Challenge at universities and colleges of their choice, help destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. I am fully behind this inspiring initiative and urge every current and former Olympic and Paralympic athlete to join our BRIT Ambassador family. I look forward to supporting students and staff at the University of Leicester.”
Danielle Brown MBE
Double Paralympic Gold medallist
Danielle’s plans came crashing to a halt when she was struck down with a disability as a teenager that severely affected her mobility. She was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a rare and very painful condition in her feet. At a stage in life when you're figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life, this was a challenging but Danielle came to realise that whilst you can't control what happens to you, you can control your response to it. Determined to live life on her terms, Danielle looked around for a sport that didn't involve lots of running around or walking and took up archery on her 15th birthday. This was the first step on a journey that saw Danielle rise to Paralympic glory, dominating her field for over eight years. During this time, she also proved doctors wrong by successfully juggling a law degree and achieving first class honours. Three years after taking up the sport, Danielle stepped straight into the international circuit as World Number 1 and had soon accumulated a number of titles, including two gold medals at the 2007 World Championships and becoming Paralympic Champion at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. In 2009, Danielle won two gold medals at the World Championships and two gold and one silver at the 2010 European Championships.
Always striving to improve, she transitioned onto the able-bodied team. In 2010, Danielle became the first Para athlete to represent England in an able-bodied discipline where she won the gold medal in the team event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
In 2011, Danielle won one gold and two silver medals at the World Championships. In 2012, Danielle won gold at the Indoor World Cup stage (able-bodied) and silver at the World Cup Finals (able-bodied).
The 2012 Paralympic Games in London was the tournament she was most excited about and Danielle worked incredibly hard, committed to retain her Paralympic title in such a prestigious setting. The proudest moment of her life was receiving the gold medal in front of that home crowd in London. The support of the entire country was overwhelming, but it was also the first time that her family and friends had ever seen Danielle compete internationally and this made standing on the podium a very special moment.
In 2013, Danielle won two silver medals at the World Championships and came 4th in the team event (able-bodied). Archery was such a big part of her life and Danielle was fully committed to making the team for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, and trying for her third gold medal, but life has a way of throwing up setbacks when you least expect it. In 2013, Danielle learned that she had failed to classify under the new rules and could no longer compete at Paralympic events. Danielle started archery because she was fed up of all the limitations imposed on her life and archery helped a disillusioned teenager come to terms with having a disability. In one moment Danielle felt that everything she had worked so hard for was gone; just because she didn’t tick a box.
On her retirement as an elite athlete, and double Paralympic Gold medallist, Danielle became a Keynote Speaker and Inclusion Champion; determined to be as much of a success as she had been in her sport. She now helps others to achieve their ambitions and goals through her work as a speaker, trainer and coach.
Since 2015, Danielle has been Head of Training and Development for The Kaleidoscope Group of Companies who help disabled people to realise their career ambitions by offering them the opportunity to either find their dream job or start their own businesses.
Danielle has been an Ambassador for The Mintridge Foundation since 2017. The Foundation inspires children and young people to take part in sport to benefit their physical and mental health. This involves delivering sports sessions and inspirational talks, and mentoring up and coming sports stars.
In July 2020, Danielle became Editor and contributor for Fostering Families, the UK's first magazine for the fostering sector. They celebrate successes, share learning and experiences, and amplify voices from across the care sector.
Danielle help peoples unlock potential, break through barriers and achieve more through speaking, training and coaching services. Inspiring, thought-provoking and packed full of value, Danielle is a highly sought after speaker who leaves an audience enthused and equipped with tools to make positive changes to their personal and professional lives. The topics she discusses include: diversity & inclusion, resilience, inclusive leadership, women leaders, innovative inclusion, preparing for performance, excelling at change.
In 2021, Danielle wrote One Hundred Reasons to Hope. Captain Sir Tom Moore captured the hearts of a nation, as he walked 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS. Captain Sir Tom wished to celebrate many other inspirational stories from this uncertain time, and with his blessing, these one hundred stories make a book of hope for the future. This is a book of gratitude for his inspiration, and a celebration of incredible everyday heroes from across the UK.
In 2021, wrote Run Like a Girl. Run Like a Girl is a collection of fascinating biographical stories of 50 highly successful sportswomen, from boxing superstar Nicola Adams to record-breaking yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur and fearless mountain biker Rachel Atherton. As well as giving an insight into their influences, motivations and achievements, each story reminds us that failing can teach us just as much as winning; success isn't limited to the sports field; and 'running like a girl' can lead you all the way to the top.
In July 2021, Danielle began work for Equinox as a Field Marketing Specialist.
For more information about Danielle, please visit her website.