08 December 2019

Sportsister talks to Paralympian Katrina Hart

June 5, 2009

In 2007 Katrina Hart was the second fasted in the world in her class T36/T37 100m and 200m and was hotly tipped for a medal in 2008, but then in Beijing she suffered a hamstring injury and was forced to pull out. Sportsister spoke to her on the eve of the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester about the frustrations of Beijing and her plans for the future.

Congratulations on winning the npower Midlands Disability Sports Awards, Female Sports Personality of the Year award. Does that go some way towards making up for the disappointment of Beijing?

Thank-you, but no It does not make up for Beijing because I knew I had a good chance of a medal. I was just getting back to fitness and then I did my hamstring in the 200, it was very disappointing. Before that I was second fastest in the world so I was really hopeful of a good medal.

What do you hope to achieve this year?

I want to get a PB at the weekend and try to improve on where I was two years ago. The BT Paralympic Cup will be the biggest event in Britain this year for me, but I have got competitions abroad as well as the national championships to think about as well.

Your event is on Sunday, how are you feeling – Injury free and ready to go on your home soil?

I am really looking forward to competing at home, this is my first big event of the season and since it is in Britain we are hoping that there will be a decent crowd. Maybe people that watched the Paralympics last summer will want to come and see us, I think it is going to be a nice weekend too so hopefully that will help.

I am currently injury free, but it did take me a while to get over Beijing as I was emotionally quite drained. It took a lot to get back into the routine, it was strange because I was itching to get back into it, but was frustrated with the injury and annoyed at how the year had gone.

Do you enjoy the atmosphere and facilities here at the University of Bath?

The university here has been great, I did a lot of pool sessions when I was injured which are basically the same training sessions but done in the water so there is less strain. It was quite strange, but it certainly got my fitness up. You wear a harness and run in the water, I was doing that for up to six months and am still doing one day a week now. It does take a lot out of you even a half an hour session is hard with the resistance of the water.

Do you get distracted by student life ever? Are you living on Campus?

I love being here with all the facilities so close, I live on campus so its really convenient. I don’t get too distracted by student life, I have my feet firmly on the ground. I have a goal that I want to achieve especially since the disapointment of Beijing. And there are so many other athletes all with high aims, it is good to be part of something. I train with Ben Rushgrove and we help each other out a lot.

Are there any special physio treatments that can help with your disability as well as your injury?

It is all monitored by the experts here,  they gauge how the injury is repairing – it’s all very scientific and is an amazing back-up. The physio also helps with my disability, my ankle flexibility is poor, but they have  identified this and other areas that can be improved and they devise exercises that help improve them.

How are you mentally – do you get very nervous before an event?

I love the racing, I love the event, I am quite a competitive person, so put me in any environment and I always want to win. It’s in me, I can’t help it. I do get nervous, but actually I perform better when I am.

At the Commonwealth Games next year the disability sport will run alongside the able-bodied events, is this a good thing?

Well we will have fewer events but they are going to be integrated into the able bodied programme. My event will be one of them so I am looking forward to that.

I think it will be good because it makes people more aware of disability sport. It is so great when there are more people there and it really helps with the understanding, it’s beneficial being around all the other athletes, we don’t get treated differently and we all get along well. We are not used to being with the able bodied athletes but it is nice when we get the chance.

Have you always enjoyed sports? Are there any other sports that you would like to try?

Yes I have always done sport, I used to play able-bodied county level football, but I stopped that when I was 14 to concentrate on my athletics. I have no regrets but, I do love my football and support Birmingham city.

Looking forward to London 2012, what are your aims?

I would like to do the 100 and 200 and my aim is double gold, but I also I want to carry on for the following games too. I finish my degree the year before London 2012 and am hoping to stay based here at the University to prepare.

How important is it to you that you might inspire other girls to get involved in sport?

Yes I think it is really important – I would love to think that maybe I will encourage others to take up athletics.

How do you stay motivated?

The motivation comes from thinking what my competitors are doing – I think if I am not out there then someone else will be.

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Sports Magazine for Women

Related reports:

Athletics: Paralympian stars shine on the track

Sportsister chats to Paralympian Sarah Storey

Sportsister meets Paralympian Shelly Woods

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