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Aspiration's with Danielle Brown MBE

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Danielle Brown recently joined us to hold an event with our foster carers. This event was about aspirations and how our foster carers can help our children and young people dream big and reach their goals.

Danielle Brown MBE is a double Paralympic gold medallist in archery, five time World Champion and a former world number one in her sport. She has also won medals shooting in the able bodied category when she successfully transitioned over into the able bodied team.

Danielle’s story stems from when she was a teenager and being diagnosed aged 16 with a chronic pain disability which she had been suffering from since the age of 11. Not knowing anybody else like her in her immediate friendships or family, she felt lost on where to go and how to carry on with everyday life. From this, she spent many of her teenage years living in fear. Danielle tried many sporting activities in her adolescent years to keep her driven and find her purpose in what she wanted to do. From running to kayaking, she got the opportunity to try many different things. Danielle began to notice she started to meet lots of lovely people through sports and enjoyed the teamwork and benefits she was getting from being involved in sports. Along with the health benefits and well-being mentally, she began to enjoy sports. Danielle also was studying for her first-class degree in law at the same time while making her athletic career.

When Danielle started doing archery, she loved it and wanted to become a female figure with a disability to shine a light on ‘you can do anything you put your mind to’. Danielle remembers only being able to name two female tennis players as a teenager and didn’t see many women thriving and surviving in sporting careers. This drew her even more, to build on her archery and aim for success, leading to Danielle wishing to compete in the Paralympics. Since joining the Paralympics, Danielle has won a double Paralympic gold medallist in archery.

Danielle now runs a podcast, writes children’s books and volunteers with fostering families magazines. Danielle, who is now award-winning author recently wrote a book called ‘run like a Girl’, which is available to buy and shines a light on female athletes that she researched and was inspired by when going through her athletic career, which she is now retired from. In 2016 she started to do a significant research project and looked into successful women – why some succeeded and some didn’t. What made them achieve their goals? So interviewed many women, people from human rights law, authors, businesses CEO, professors, and a mix of diverse women from around the world. Finding out how they achieved what they did, and every single one said from the help of their family and the strong support network they received during their career and before.

Danielle’s aim is to help children have self-belief and to help our foster carers show them just how they can do this

‘don’t rule yourself out the of game before you start playing’.

Danielle with her new book 'Run like a Girl'
'We all have the capacity to achieve great things if we’re given the right opportunities to do so. One of the biggest privileges of being a Paralympian is getting to put something back, and supporting the next generation to dare to dream big, pursue their passions and break through barriers is one of the best parts of my job. For me, this starts with the team behind the team. Being able to share ideas from a completely different perspective often helps uncover different ways of thinking and new solutions'

We understand that our children and young people may wish to try many different sports and activities to find what they love the most, this is great, and we always encourage them to express themselves safely and positively. Challenges can be tough for everybody, and having support around you to help is what matters most.

Our foster carers were spoken to about helping our children and young people reach their goals no matter how small and the positives in having something they wish to focus on. There are many ways to set goals and encourage those big dreams fueled by passion.

Danielle’s biggest challenge she faced was her exit from the sport. Danielle wanted to go to Rio in 2016 after winning two gold medals, but new rules came into Paralympics where you had to define how disabled you were. The Paralympics said her disability didn’t affect her ability to shoot in archery. So her career ended overnight. Danielle lost her funding, couldn’t train at the national training centre, feeling she had lost everything. Danielle was given two pieces of paper on how to write a CV and make a path for herself now. Danielle then went through the grief cycle, starting to not believe in herself and her capabilities. This was a tough moment in Daniele’s life, having to pick herself back up at this point, and what she does and believes in is that she still has a choice.

‘Every day she had a choice to get up and be successful’ feeling she had been dumped in the middle of the ocean, not knowing what to do and feeling she had lost her identity. 'I could either give up or get up’

Danielle got back up, and that really helped her find her path again and gave her some control back and helped her make the next choice. ‘making consistent decisions.

This gave her a chance to find out what she wanted to do again and reinvent herself, and she became much more resilient since it made her much stronger.

We want to ensure our children and young people know that you can always try again and find something you wish to achieve, and with the support of Nexus Fostering and our foster carers, we will help them every step of the way. We are helping our children and young people with confidence, fear, self-esteem and goal-setting.


If you want to make a positive difference in a childs life get in touch.

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Date published

26 July 2023

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