Boccia star Hart hoping to defy adversity by soaring to the sporting summit

·3-min read
Aldi are now working in partnership with SportsAid to support 20 young athletes on their journey to becoming future Olympians and Paralympians – including Hart – and helping them to eat like a champion
Aldi are now working in partnership with SportsAid to support 20 young athletes on their journey to becoming future Olympians and Paralympians – including Hart – and helping them to eat like a champion

Boccia athlete Fay Hart has been fighting for disability rights all her life, and now she wants to prove the doubters wrong again by reaching the top of her sport.

At the age of twelve, Hart met then Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss disability rights on behalf of the Disability Rights Commission.

She has since gone on to win bronze at the Boccia England Pathway competition in Nottingham this year, and now the 32-year-old now feels ready to represent her country on the sporting stage.

And witnessing the build up to this summer's Commonwealth Games has made Hart even more determined to deliver on her dream of international recognition.

"Competing on home solid would be my proudest moment, and I will certainly do my best to make sure I get that moment,” said Hart, who has been selected to be a member of Aldi’s Rising Stars programme.

"There have been a lot of people in my life who have implied that I would not necessarily be capable of achieving as much as I have.

"Boccia has been a platform to prove people wrong, really.

"It is really important because it challenges perceptions about disabilities, it is more about what you can do rather than what you can't.

"My work for disability rights and my sport complement each other. I don't think one would even work without the other.

"I think the pandemic showed that although the sport is the focus of my life, you need other things as well as your sport because when everything that you usually do grinds to a halt, you need to have something else you can pick up.

"So, I think they compliment each other, and when we went to back to the sport, there were a lot of changes and restrictions, and the other stuff helped me come to terms with that."

Aldi are now working in partnership with SportsAid to support 20 young athletes on their journey to becoming future Olympians and Paralympians – including Hart – and helping them to eat like a champion.

Each year, athletes are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports based on set criteria. The Rising Stars athletes will be receiving financial support through Aldi, who will also support their 20 athletes with a monthly food voucher, to fuel them through training, competitions and to future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And Hart believes that the public support for this summer's Games has helped guarantee its success.

"I think the build up to Birmingham has definitely boosted my hopes of one day competing at a massive event,” added Hart.

"Especially when the Games is supported by well-known people and recognised brands.

"You get to see the competition come together nicely, and without the support from the outside, it probably wouldn't work as well as it does.

"There haven't been that many females in boccia from the UK, so I am looking forward to seeing participation on the rise now that they have brought in different categories for men and women.

"There has been an awful lot of coverage of boccia during the Paralympics, and that has been something that is really good to watch."

Aldi is the Official Supermarket Partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB and have partnered with Team GB since 2015, ParalympicsGB since 2022 and will be supporting them through to Paris 2024

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