Bethany Woodward’s Biography:
Born: December 1992
Events: 100m, 200m & 400m
Training Venue: Loughborough High Performance Centre
Coach: Jared Deacon
Lifetime Achievements: T37 400m IPC World Champion 2011, 4x100m IPC World Bronze Medallist, Paralympic T37 200m Silver Medallist & 4x100m Paralympic Bronze Medallist
Personal Best Times:
200m 29.50 (T37 European Record)
Below is a list of Bethany’s current achievements:
2012 T37 200m European Record
2011 T35-38 4x100m Relay Bronze Medal IPC world Championships NZ
2011 T37 400m Gold Medal IPC World Championships NZ
2010 T37 100m 5th Place Commonwealth Games Delhi
2009 T37 100m, 200m Gold School Games Cardiff
I was born in Eastbourne on Boxing Day 1992 and was fortunate that a lovely midwife from New Zealand was able to deliver me in a bath full of water. I was not diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy until I was 12 months old and I was observed to have problems crawling. It was actually a physiotherapist friend of my mum, who on seeing me in my high chair, noticed my right foot was floppy and told her I had Cerebral Palsy.
I spent my early childhood living in the New Forest in a Camphill Community.
My parents looked after 8 children with various disabilities and I grew up alongside them. This meant I had no television and spent my time running around the forest and helping my father look after a small woodland. I was brought up on a full organic diet and I attended the Rudolf Steiner School that was adjacent to our community home. There were a lot of other co-worker children living on the site and we spent most of our time outdoors. The Camphill Community put on lots of plays and had wonderful festivals at Easter and Christmas. My second love is acting as much of my childhood was spent in the community hall taking part or watching the community plays. We also went on holidays with the children and this meant I had a very active life. I first abseiled when I was just 3 and a half years old.
No-one was held back because of their disability so the environment was perfect for me.
As a young child I had extensive curative eurythmy a form of healing movement. My therapist was Russell Pooler who is a long-term family friend.
I did not start athletics until I was a secondary school, by this time my family had moved to Camphill St Albans. My first athletics club was the St Albans club where I was taken on by Tim Higman the high jumps coach. It was very hard to join and athletic club as a disabled athlete and Tim was the only coach that showed interest in me and encouraged me, and I am very grateful to him.
I was especially helped by all the people at CPSport to believe in myself and stop hiding my disability. I met truly inspirational people.
In 2008 my family moved back to the New Forest to Sturts Farm. I was then coached by Todd Bennett who transformed me physically from a young girl with talent to a young woman who was able to win the IPC World Championship 400m Gold Medal.
I decided to immerse myself in athletics so at the tender age of 17 – with my dad needing to persuade my mum! – I embarked on an athletics adventure and moved to Lea Valley. I was now training with the likes of Dwayne Chambers and Christian Malcolm. It is the Lea Valley HiPac and my coach Jonas TD that have been preparing me for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Now is the time to run.