TEAM GB para-sprinter India Oates was also quick to thank her school as she collected her nine GCSEs by donating an official shirt to her headmaster Tony Jackson.
India has just competed in the World Para Junior Championships in Switzerland and for her country at the Manchester Internationals, where she ran adult competitors, including a world record holder and Olympic and Commonwealth champions, to a close fourth.
Ranked second in the country and seventh in the world for the 100m and 200m T35 events, India, of Barnard Castle, had cut down on her training to study for her GCSEs.
Born in Newcastle’s RVI Hospital nine weeks early with her twin Amelia, India was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and now competes in T35 competitions, which are for athletes who are affected in all four limbs.
Her disability has never prevented her performing and with personal bests of 16.14 seconds and 33.63 for the 100m and 200m, respectively, she has always been one of the fastest para-athletes in the world.
Last December she was selected for the Paralympic Futures Academy and is now in the squad for World Para Junior Championship events.
Coached by Darlington Harriers’ Helen Bowles, who attends the Futures Academy weekends and competitions with India, she is also trained in strength, conditioning and recovery by Barnard Castle School coach Andy Woodward.
“I do not know what I would do without school as the facilities and support are brilliant,” she said. “So I wanted to say thank you by donating an official Team GB shirt. My dream remains to compete at the Paralympics, either in 2020 in Tokyo or 2024 in Paris.”
India plans to stay on at Barnard Castle School Sixth Form to study A levels in religious studies, PE and psychology. She then hopes to read a degree at Loughborough University, which is also home to the country’s Sports High Performance Centre.