Skier aims to inspire others with calendar

Bourne's Paralympic skier Jade Etherington with her honourary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. EMN-140910-123455001
Bourne's Paralympic skier Jade Etherington with her honourary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. EMN-140910-123455001
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Bourne’s Paralympic skiing star Jade Etherington hopes to get enough votes to appear on a calendar celebrating inspirational sporting women.

Jade, 23, was surprised to find out she had been put forward on Twitter for inclusion in the #WomenInSport Calendar2015.

The calendar, produced by Sports Liberated and the Women’s Sports Network, celebrates the achievements of “sports heroines” through the year.

Jade has now made it through to the final 30 and if she gets enough public votes will appear on the calendar.

Jade, who won three silver medals and one bronze alongside sighted guide Caroline Powell at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, said: “I did see a few of the Tweets beforehand but I didn’t think anything of it. I hadn’t heard of the calendar but I had heard of Women in Sport through the Youth Sport Trust, which is linked.

“It’s nice to be involved, especially with the other women. It’s a good group I would want to get into and become more of a role model.”

Since winning her medals partially-sighted Jade has found enjoyment in meeting young people and inspiring others with disabilities to take up sport. If she does get enough votes to appear in the calendar, she hopes to inspire even more people.

“I still feel honoured to be part of anything,” said Jade. “It’s still a bit surreal but it’s cool. It’s weird seeing my name up there.

“It’s really good because people don’t know about skiing. And I didn’t know about some of the other sports.”

Joining Jade on the list of nominees are 10,000m runner Jo Pavey, swimmer Fran Halsall and fellow Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher.

People can vote online until November 1 at wsnet.co.uk/womeninsport-calendar2015. Jade is currently in second place with 15 per cent of the vote.

The 2015 calendar will support breast cancer charities and will sell for about £5 including postage and packaging.

Jade had another reason to celebrate this week when she was given an honorary doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University. Jade was born in Chelmsford, where the university has a campus.

She said: “It’s really cool. I got to wear all the robes. It’s really nice to have that. They said on the day that they don’t just give them out. The university was lovely.”

To make the day even more special, Jade’s grandparents who live in Chelmsford were able to make it to the ceremony. They were unable to make Jade’s civic reception in Bourne in March.

“It was great to see them and have the day with them,” said Jade.