We are delighted to welcome back to campus Coventry's Paralympian and History student, Kare Adenegan, hosting an official homecoming celebration ceremony at the Sports and Wellness Hub after Kare won two silver medals at the postponed Tokyo Paralympics 2020 in the T34 wheelchair 100m and 800m events.
Watch our interview with Kare below to hear about what it was like to represent Coventry and our community in the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 and to learn what Kare's plans are for the future.
During the event, Kare was introduced by Warwick’s Director of Sport and Active Communities, Lisa Dodd-Mayne. She was congratulated by Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John McNicholas, before hearing from the Provost of the University of Warwick, Professor Christine Ennew OBE and presented with a recognition of success award.
Kare Adenegan said:
“I really appreciate that the University of Warwick wanted to have this celebratory event for me and present me with a special award.
“I am proud to be a role model. I do want to inspire people and feel honoured that I can do that, especially here in Coventry. It’s important for people to see others achieving, so that they think ‘I can do that too’.
“I was really proud of my achievements at Tokyo 2020. As an athlete, you prepare, you race and then you focus on the next goal. For me the focus now is the Commonwealth Games. I was involved in the bid several years ago and now it’s actually time to focus as an athlete. My priority now is to be there, racing.
“I am really glad that some of the Commonwealth Games events are happening in Coventry. Coventry is my city. It is home. With UK City of Culture and the Commonwealth Games, it’s great that the world gets to see what is happening here.”
Professor Christine Ennew OBE, Provost of the University of Warwick said:
“Marking Kare’s success at Tokyo 2020 has been such a pleasure. We have watched and supported her with such pride since she joined the university. She is internationally recognised as an elite athlete in her chosen sport and we are delighted that she has been able to make the University of Warwick her home, place of study and her training ground as she continues to pursue her athletic goals.”
Pupils from Bablake and King Henry VIII School were invited to attend the celebratory event as this is where Kare went to school previously. She delivered an inspiring speech followed by a Q&A session, allowing the children to ask about her life leading up to becoming a professional athlete, her inspiring story behind why she wanted to become an athlete, even discussing the innovation behind her wheelchair used for racing.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John McNicholas, said:
"Kare’s efforts have inspired children across the city. She has helped them to love sport and make it a part of their lives. I have been fortunate to see some of the results of her success, and it has been wonderful to watch young children smiling and having fun as they compete – or just exercise for fun.
"She carries the responsibility of a role model very well, and her love of sport shines through so brightly that others can’t help but be inspired."