A Paralympic Customer
Anne Wafula Strike, an athlete, author and inspirational speaker is a customer who wears our women's rain hats so beautifully and is always so complimentary about them. Anne has worn our hats for various photoshoots and even on television when hosting the 2018 winter Paralympic Games in Korea. Anne is a fabulous and fascinating lady with a story to tell. Read on!
Anne wearing Grace baker boy rain hat whilst presenting at the Paralympic Games in Korea
Please tell us a bit about your life as a Paralympic wheelchair racer – how much training did you do? What were the highs and lows?
I started racing after I become a mum and soon began winning races and got my firsts Paralympic call when I was selected to compete in the 2004 in Athens games. The highlight was winning a Bronze in 400M at the Visa Paralympic Games in 2007 and breaking the British records in 100M and 200M in Switzerland. I held the records that were recently taken by a younger racer.
You champion the end of polio. What is your association with the polio foundation?
I am a Polio survivor from the age of two and a half. Polio is a disease that can be prevented through vaccination and it breaks my heart when I hear another child has been struck down by the disease. As an ambassador I am reminded that Polio has no place in society and with the End Polio initiative that was started by the Rotary Club in 1985, we are determined to eradicate the disease by immunising children.
Tell us a bit about your role as an inspirational speaker
I don’t really see myself as an ‘inspiration’ figure, but rather a fortunate lady of African decent who has a platform to amplify the voices of other disabled people who face marginalisation and the stigma that limits potential. Through my talks, I like to challenge misconceptions and prejudices that we face and instigate debate that brings about change.
Collecting an MBE for services to disability sport, must have been a very proud moment for you. Describe the day for us please
The day was surreal and having some of my family and friends to share in the moment at Buckingham Palace was a blessing. I wore a beautiful dress designed and made by Izzy Camileri.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
‘Stay true to yourself’.
What advice would you give?
Do not allow this world to define you, so use adversity as an opportunity. Every loss leads to an opportunity, and every adversity leads to new possibilities.
What do you wish you’d known?
I wish I’d know that no one’s perfect. I knew that I wasn’t perfect; I just didn’t realize that this also applied to the people I looked up to.
What are your goals for 2020?
I was very good at setting yearly goals when I was at the height of my athletics career. Nowadays each year I aim to develop a deeper level of commitment and drive to challenge myself.
What do you love most about the rain?
To me rain symbolises washing away as in cleaning away the old dirt and allowing or preparing for a new season. I also love the sound the rain makes. If you’ve ever listened carefully, it’s rather musical. When lighten and thunder is involved, I like to call that ‘rock and roll’ of rain.
Anne wearing Olivia rain hat
Thank you Anne for giving us your precious time to do this interview, it's very much appreciated. We love your inspiring story and your mantra which you sign off on:
“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation drives what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it"
A lovely motivational thought for January and the start of a new decade.