Monthly Letter

Dear Friends

My apologies for not having written a letter last month – only life got a bit busy !

Many of you will know my connection with the Paralympics (especially wheelchair fencing) going back a few decades ! Originally I was meant to be going to Japan as a volunteer, but due to covid, they cancelled all volunteers from overseas. Then only a few months before the Games, I was asked if I would like the job as Covid manager, employed by the international federation.

As you can imagine, it was a very busy job as I was responsible for about 80 officials. Of course the Games was like no other, no crowds, only officials who were restricted by only being permitted to go to the venue and the hotel. So no, I didn’t see any of Japan!

However I found it really interesting, seeing things from the “other side” from the view of the referees. I soon learned that athletes are not the only ones who get nervous before going onto the Piste, referees hoping against hope they wouldn’t mess up, at such a significant event.

As I was representing the “International” family I was not permitted to outwardly show my support for GB during a match. At first I found that quite hard, trying to rein in my emotions. But actually that too was fascinating – as it allowed me to look at the bigger picture. I watched matches thinking about the “back story” of the people that I had got to know throughout the week, as well as those I had known for years. I had time to really contemplate some of the difficulties that many of the nations suffer on a daily basis. The experience was truly amazing.

And the icing on the cake – seeing the GB Wheelchair Fencing Team win 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 bronze medals. I may not have been allowed to shout and scream – but trust me, I had the biggest smile on my face ever.

And when I returned home – I experienced the joy of someone from my home town (Bromley) win the US Tennis Open ……Emma Raducanu, a lady who really does have the best smile ever.

So keep smiling and celebrate the good things in life !


God Bless


Revd Shuna


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