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Ex-Paralympian Anne Wafula named among 100 most influential people with disability in UK

By Hilary Kimuyu October 27th, 2020 2 min read

Kenyan-born former Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike has added another feather to her already heavily decorated cap after being named among 100 most influential disabled people in the United Kingdom.

The 51-year-old former wheelchair racer was named in the 2020 Shaw Trust Power 100 list of Britain’s most impactful disabled influencers which is compiled by an independent judging panel.

“Anne Wafula MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) challenges misconceptions about disability. Athlete, author, disability and inclusion champion, and sporting ambassador; Anne inspires achievement and excellence through motivational talks that encourage others to overcome difficulties and maximise their potential,” Power 100 stated.

“It’s humbling to be on the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List 2020, in the politics and law category. There are so many disabled people doing amazing things and I thank them all. We are stronger together,” she said on her recognition.

“I find it difficult to sit and see unfairness and exclusion go on. So, the small role I play in presenting disability issues in a way that could dispel negative stereotypes and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities is crucial.”

Wafula-Strike made history in 2004 when she became the first sub-Saharan wheelchair racer at the Paralympics and became a British citizen in 2006 and represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 2007.

The former Paralympian, who got paralyzed at the age of two from polio, has been at the forefront in fighting for the inclusion of persons living with disabilities.

She is a board member of UK Athletics, British Paralympics Association, Active Essex, and Sports Chaplaincy UK.

In 2014, she was named in Queen’s Birthday honors list as a recipient of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to disability sport and charity work.

In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Health Sciences) by York St John University and last year she was recognised by the iNews as one of the 100 leading Black women in the world.

She also founded the Olympia-Wafula Foundation to promote healthy living solutions for people with disabilities emphasising on education, mobility and advocacy to empower and enrich their lives through social inclusion.

Wafula-Strike authored the award-winning autobiography In My Dreams I Dance published by Harper Collins. The book is set for an update due to public demand for the incredible story.