Paralympian pays visit to RNOH’s children’s ward

Naomi Riches with Molly Waters

A Paralympic gold medallist inspired young patients on a visit to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital’s (RNOH) children’s ward.

Naomi Riches, 29, who won gold in the coxed four rowing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and a bronze in the Beijing Games, inspired potential future Paralympians on the ward by demonstrating that they can achieve great things whatever their ability.

Naomi, who is visually impaired, said it was a fantastic opportunity to speak to the youngsters.

“My main aim was to give the children and adolescents some hope and make them realise that there are opportunities for them, whether or not they have a disability,” she said.

When asked what’s next for her, Naomi said that training starts on Monday towards the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016, although she is going to take it year by year to start with.

Parents and children on the ward congratulated Naomi on her success and even got to wear the medal.

Zoe Keates, senior play specialist, said the staff and patients were very privileged for a Paralympian to share her achievements with everyone.

“Naomi’s visit is particularly pertinent for us particularly as we treat patients with disabilities and it just goes to prove that there is life after life changing surgery,” she said.

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