Paralympic volunteer Marie from Stevenage says: Just Do It!

Gordon Reid, Marie Sheren and Alfie Hewitt

Gordon Reid, Marie Sheren and Alfie Hewitt - Credit: Archant

An inspirational Stevenage mum with epilepsy returned from volunteering at the Rio Paralympics – having had the working trip of a lifetime.

Marie Sheren, from Guildford Close, helped as a volunteer at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, loving it so much she vowed at the time to make it to South America for this year.

Marie, 53, mother to two grown-up boys achieved her dream at the recent global sports event. She was assigned to the Cyprus team and impressed them so much they want her as their representative at the London 2017 World Championships next summer.

The sports-mad project office manager at GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage was a sprinting coach when she was younger but was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 18, and wrongly believed she couldn’t continue her career.

She told the Comet: “I love volunteering. I got the bug after really enjoying being a helper during London 2012. I promised myself I’d be a volunteer at the Rio Paralympics – which I did.

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“I chose the Paralympics as there’s more of a family friendly atmosphere and a sense of everyone being in it together.”

Marie, who also volunteers for Help for Heroes charity, even managed to meet Alex Brooker and Adam Hills, stars of Channel Four’s The Last Leg Paralympics show which was being filmed in Rio. She said: “They were really nice. Alex Brooker told me he was coming down with man-flu!

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“I want to spread the word that having a condition doesn’t stop you from doing anything – only you can stop yourself.

“I’d urge anyone thinking about volunteering to just do it – whether it be in Stevenage or the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics which I plan to do.

“I’m going to continue volunteering until my body tells me not to! My army son James thinks I’m mad!”

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