Winter Paralympian, Executive Performance Coach and Athlete Mentor, Anna Turney, joins BRIT
We are delighted that Anna has joined our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health throughout the UK. While recovering in hospital from her spinal injuries, Anna decided to get back into sport after being inspired by the 2006 Winter Paralympics. The following year, she took up mono skiing and in 2007, was accepted into the British Disabled Ski Team (BDST). Anna went on represented Great Britain at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.
"As a mentor for The True Athlete Project and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, I know that many young adults and students are living with mental health difficulties. It is deeply concerning that the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the existing mental health challenges that young adults face, increasing feelings of isolation and loneliness. I also know from working closely with the University of Birmingham, and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, that Students’ Unions and students go to extraordinary lengths to raise funds for, and support, great causes and if ever there was a time to come together to support young adult mental health it is now.
BRIT are determined to engage all young adults and students in the UK and their annual BRIT Challenge is a feelgood February fundraiser for every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to be part of. It’s not only a great way to improve mental health and fitness; every team is being invited to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities throughout the UK. The BRIT Challenge has been designed for universities, colleges and/or Students’ Unions to enter teams and encourage students and staff to take part wherever they are; on campus or at home. I think it’s inspiring that there are so many ways to take part including hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). I am delighted to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family, and uniting with Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities, to encourage universities and colleges to enter teams and support their students and staff as they complete their BRIT Challenge; we must do more to help destigmatise mental health, and share our own lived experience, as this is such an important time to support young adult and student mental health. I would be thrilled to encourage students and staff at The University of Birmingham as they enter teams in the BRIT Challenge.”
Winter Paralympian, Executive Performance Coach and Athlete Mentor
Anna is originally from Northampton and was educated at Oundle School. In 2006, Anna broke her back snowboard racing, pushing herself at what she loved best. Determined not to be defeated, Anna decided to become a Paralympic Ski Racer. Anna competed in the same disciplines as Olympic Ski racers and competed in Alpine skiing disciplines including Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G and Super combined. In 2007, Anna was accepted into the British Disabled Ski Team (BDST). Within a year she made her debut for the British team when she made her Great Britain debut at the North American Cup (Nor-Am) races in Canada. The next year, Anna was competing at the highest level and was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2009 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in South Korea, finishing fourth in the Giant Slalom. After only 3 years training, Anna came 6th in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics. She went on to represent Great Britain in the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games as part of Great Britain’s most successful Winter Paralympic Team. Since her retirement as an elite athlete, Anna has used her Paralympic experiences to inspire businesses through executive coaching, talks and workshops and speaking in schools. Anna has mentored talented athletes on the Sport England Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) for the University of Birmingham and the True Athlete Project. She is also an athlete mentor for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust (DKHT). In 2020, Anna won the Women Who Achieves award. To find out more about Anna, please visit her website. You can follow Anna on Twitter and Instagram.